Monday Health Minute | Published March 11, 2013

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month: What to expect when getting a colonoscopy

The physician will give the patient a laxative or enema before a colonoscopy to clean the large intestine of waste.

  • Patients are sedated during the procedure.
  • The physician may use a heart monitor, oxygen, and other monitoring equipment to ensure the safety and comfort of the patient during the 45-minute procedure.
  • If a polyp or inflamed tissue is found, the physician can remove it using tiny instruments passed through the scope. That tissue is then sent to a lab for testing.
  • If there is bleeding in the colon, the physician will use a laser, heater probe or electrical probe to stop the bleeding.
  • Patients should arrange for someone to take them home after the procedure because the sedatives will make driving prohibitive.