What to Expect
Knowing what to expect when you go for your first colonoscopy can help to ease some of the anxiety you may feel about the procedure
Making your Colonoscopy Appointment in N.O.
Taking the first step can sometimes be the most difficult part. It is normal to be anxious or even dread the unfamiliar. And it’s understandable to be worried about what the procedure may uncover. But you are not alone. Millions of people have been through it. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Direct Access Colonoscopy
The Tulane Endoscopy Center accommodates requests for routine endoscopic evaluations (such as screening colonoscopy) that may not require a clinic visit, but may require a physician referral. Talk to your primary care physician to see if this is an option for you. To refer or inquire about referring for an open endoscopy, please call (504) 988-3755.
Colonoscopy Prep Tips
Your New Orleans colon doctor will provide you with specific instructions for how to prepare for your colonoscopy. There are a couple of different types of prep, but most involve a clear-liquid diet the day before the procedure, as well as a prescription laxative beginning at a designated time. If the prep is something that worries you, talk to your physician about your hesitation. Maybe he or she can offer some tips or prescribe a particular prep type that works best for you.
Here are some tips that have worked for others, but be sure to check with your New Orleans colorectal doctor to make sure they are okay with the prep method you’ve been prescribed:
- If you would like, a couple of days before prep day, start to cut down on the quantity of food you eat. And be mindful of foods that can be difficult to digest, like meat. The less that goes in, the less that needs to come out.
- Clear gummy bears dissolve to a clear liquid at body temperature and can help give you something to eat on prep day (avoid anything with red, orange or purple coloring.)
- Usually you can eat light-colored gelatin without fruit or ice pops (again, avoid anything with red, orange or purple coloring.)
- Stay away from the kitchen, especially if family members are cooking.
- If you’re not fond of the prep taste, try drinking it cold or with a straw.
- Stay in the vicinity of the bathroom.
- Keep baby wipes and petroleum jelly handy.
- Make light of and laugh about the experience with a friend or family member.
- Remember, it’s worth it.
It’s very important to follow the colonoscopy prep instructions your colon doctor provides. The better you prep the easier it is for your doctor to navigate your colon and identify any abnormalities or polyps.
The Colonoscopy Procedure
The day of your procedure, you will have nothing to eat or drink until the procedure is completed. You will have to arrive to the location of the procedure a little early to be checked in and meet with the anesthesiologist. The colonoscopy will only take about 30 minutes, but the entire experience from arrival to departure should take about two-to-three hours.
During the procedure, you will most likely be sedated. A colonoscopy involves inserting a thin, flexible tube used to look at the surface of the colon and rectum. Most of the time, if the doctor finds polyps, he or she can remove them right then and there. The screening and removal of polyps at one time is a benefit of a colonoscopy over many other screening methods. It will take about seven-to-10 business days to get your results. Your follow-up and any subsequent screenings will based on your individual findings.