What To Expect On The Day Of Your Colonoscopy

Patients who need to have a colonoscopy often hear that preparing for the test is the worst part. You have to drink a laxative beverage to clear out your bowels. Clearly, this part is not pleasant, so it does end up being the part that most people focus on. But then, you find yourself in your doctor's office waiting to have the colonoscopy, and you realize that you really have no idea what to expect from this point on. After reading this article, you will know what to expect on the actual day of your colonoscopy.

Undressing and Preparation

When the nurse calls you from the waiting room, you will be brought into a preparatory room where you'll be asked to undress and put on a hospital gown. Your nurse will then take your vitals. They'll take your temperature, listen to your heart, and measure your blood pressure just to ensure you're in good enough general health to go through with the colonoscopy.


After you're in the hospital gown and have had your vitals taken, the anesthesiologist will come in. You won't be put under general anesthesia for the colonoscopy, but you will be sedated. As you lie on your side, an IV will be put in your arm, and before long, you will doze off. Most patients fall completely asleep after receiving the sedation, but you may be vaguely aware of what is going on around you.

The Actual Test

With you sedated, your doctor will insert a special camera device into your colon. Some air will be pumped into your colon to allow the camera to travel through the colon more easily. The doctor will see the images generated by the camera on the screen, and they will note any abnormalities as they go. If they do find any polyps, they will remove them. They'll keep the tissue to biopsy it, which will tell them whether or not it is cancerous.

Waking Up

The colonoscopy itself will take about a half-hour — maybe a little longer if your doctor has to remove some polyps. You will wake up soon after the IV is removed from your arm. While you may be a little confused for a few minutes, this confusion will clear. You may feel a little bloated from the gas added to your colon during the procedure, but you should not experience any pain otherwise. Your doctor will review the results of your colonoscopy, and you'll be free to go home. (You will need someone to drive you home since the sedatives can leave you unable to drive.)

Now you have a better idea of what to expect on the actual day of your colonoscopy. For further questions, concult with your doctor.