How Long Does a Colonoscopy Take

Before we tell you how long does it take to do a colonoscopy read the brief explanation of the procedure. A colonoscopy (koe-lun-OS-kuh-pee) is an exam used to find modifications or irregularities in the large intestinal tract (colon) and rectum.

During a colonoscopy, a long, flexible tube (colonoscope) is inserted into the anus. A small video camera at the tip of the tube enables the doctor to see the inside of the entire colon.

If necessary, polyps or other types of irregular tissue can be eliminated through the scope during a colonoscopy. Tissue samples (biopsies) can be taken during a colonoscopy also.

If your doctor suggests you have a colonoscopy, don’t stress. You might believe it’s going to be a dreadful procedure, however it will not be. Probably you will not even be awake to remember it.

A colonoscopy is an exam your doctor uses to look inside your large intestine for possible causes of things like abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, or modifications in bowel routines.

Colonoscopies are likewise used to check for colorectal cancer when you’re over age 50.

Colonoscopy Procedure and Duration

During a colonoscopy, you’ll wear a gown but likely nothing else. Sedation is generally advised. In some cases a mild sedative is given in tablet type. In other cases, the sedative is integrated with an intravenous pain medication to decrease any discomfort.

You’ll begin the test lying on your side on the exam table, normally with your knees drawn towards your chest. The doctor will place a colonoscope into your rectum. The scope– which is long enough to reach the whole length of your colon– consists of a light and a tube (channel) that enables the doctor to pump air into your colon. The air inflates the colon, which supplies a better view of the lining of the colon. When the scope is moved or air is presented, you might feel abdominal cramping or the desire to have a bowel movement.

The colonoscope also contains a small video camera at its tip. The video camera sends images to an external monitor so the doctor can study the within your colon. The doctor can likewise place instruments through the channel to take tissue samples (biopsies) or get rid of polyps or other areas of irregular tissue.

How Long Does a Colonoscopy Take for Adults?

A colonoscopy normally takes from start to finish about 20 minutes to an hour. Typical colonoscopy needs to take about 30 minutes: 12 minutes to obtain the scope in 5 or 6 feet, and 12 minutes or two to take it out. Then if polyps need to be removed it will take longer, depending on the number and the size of the polyps.

  • Am I awake for the procedure?

Various colonoscopists take different techniques to sedation and pain management. My approach is to have patients awake and responsive. They can assist me with the colonoscopy by holding their breath or turning from side to side. They get a little dose of a sedative and more, if required. Most patients do great with the preliminary dosage, but some need more since their colons are unusually long or twisty. Other colonoscopists just knock patients out. This can be an issue, as patients respond to drugs in different methods, and sometimes they can stop breathing. In addition, recovery is a lot longer. Some patients have a colonoscopy without any medication at all. (I did this twice). In basic, the lighter the sedation, the better the colonoscopists method has to be.


Last Update - September 21, 2017

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The Author

Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle advisor I try to guide individuals in becoming more aware of living well and healthy through a series of proactive and preventive measures, disease prevention steps, recovery after illness or medical procedures. Education: Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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