This test sounds much worse than it is! This test is recommended for anyone 50 and older.

This office procedure lasts about 20-30 minutes whereby a scope is inserted into the large intestine. With a colonoscopy your physician may detect and remove colon polyps, mushroom-like growths that transform into cancer over several years.

You can have this test as an outpatient.  You can’t eat or drink for about 8 hours before the test and you will have to take a liquid diet and laxative packages the night prior to the test, so that your intestines are empty before the test. Your doctor will give you written instructions about this beforehand, or they may arrive with your appointment letter.  It is important to follow the instructions completely in order for the test to be successful.

When you get to the Colonoscopy Suite, you will be asked to take your clothing off and put on a hospital gown.  Once you are ready, you get onto the bed or a stretcher.  Right before the procedure you will receive pain medicine and a sedative to help you relax during the exam.

Because you will be sedated, you will need to rest at the colonoscopy facility for 1 to 2 hours until the medication wears off, before being able to go home. You should also bring someone with you or arrange to be picked up.

It is suggested that people have a colonoscopy every ten years; for patients with a family history of previous polyps detection, it is recommended every five years. When caught early, colon cancer survival is over 90% and after surgical removal no chemotherapy or radiation is needed. You’re done. See you back in 5 years.

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