Patient Information
Lower G. I. Endoscopy is a direct examination of your entire colon.  A colonoscopy is a soft, flexible instrument, about the diameter of a finger, with a light and lens at the end which allows your doctor to see into your colon.  Prior to the procedure, you will be given a mild sedative.  The tube-like instrument is then inserted into the rectum and advanced through the colon so that visual inspection can be carried out.  During the procedure you will be laying on your left side.  While the procedure is being performed you may be asked to turn on your back or right side.  This is to help the scope pass through the turns in your colon easier.  Your doctor can take samples from the colon lining including biopsies and brushings, if needed.  This sampling is not painful.  Certain treatments may also be given through the scope as in the case of gastrointestinal bleeding or the removal of polyps.  You may have a sensation of bloating or gas as air is pumped into the colon for better visualization.  You may also feel some cramping.  If you experience any discomfort during the procedure, additional sedation or pain medication may be given. During the procedure your blood pressure, pulse and breathing will be monitored.

Special Instructions:
1.  You will need to go on a full liquid diet for 2-3 days before your procedure, as your doctor specifies.  If you are hypoglycemic or diabetic, please discuss this with your doctor.  You may have as much water, pop, juice, bouillon, tea, coffee or Jell-O as desired. NO RED OR GREEN JELL-O OR DAIRY PRODUCTS!!!
2.  On the day of your test, at 4 PM, begin drinking the prep solution previously prescribed by your doctor. Drink one tall glass every 15 minutes or so.  It may take up to four hours to drink the entire gallon.  If you are unable to completely drink the prep solution or feel that it is not cleaning your colon out well, please notify your physician.
3.   Do NOT eat or drink after midnight before the procedure.  Your usual medications can usually be taken with a sip of water, but please discuss this beforehand with your doctor.  Your stomach should be empty during the test.
4.   Arrive at the hospital one-half to one hour prior to your scheduled procedure time.  Bring your insurance cards and information.
5.   A responsible person must come with you who can stay during the procedure and drive you home.

What to Expect:
Before your procedure you will be interviewed by a Registered Nurse.  She will ask some questions about your symptoms, health history and take your blood pressure, pulse and temperature.  If you do not know them by name, please bring a list of your allergies and current medications.  The nurse will also insert a small needle into a vein in your arm so that sedation can be given.  After your procedure you will be sleepy.  Your blood pressure and pulse will be monitored frequently.   You can expect to feel bloated or crampy and pass gas from your rectum.  This is just air that was pumped in through the scope during your procedure and you should not be embarrassed to pass it.  You will stay in the recovery area until you are alert and oriented and your vital signs are stable, usually about one hour after your sedation was given.   You may  be drowsy for a few hours after you go home.  Your doctor will talk to you or the person who came with you before you go home.  If biopsies were taken, it will take 3-4 days to get the report.  You will receive written discharge instructions and appropriate teaching materials before you leave.  You will not be able to drive for the rest of the day and should not plan on working the day of your test.  You will not be able to eat or drink anything for one hour after your procedure.  You may  be drowsy for a few hours after you go home.  Your doctor will talk to you or the person who came with you before you go home.