Preparing For Your Colonoscopy
Prior to your colonoscopy you will be provided written instructions and a prescription for the preparation you must take to get ready for your examination. Preparation for a colonoscopy will include emptying all solids from the gastrointestinal tract. You will be given instructions for following a clear liquid diet in the day(s) before your procedure and you will be asked to drink a specific liquid or take a laxative or possibly enemas the day before your procedure. The preparation is very important to get the best results from the colonoscopy. If the colon is not properly prepared, your physician may not be able to fully examine all portions of the colon. You should discuss with your physician which of your regular medications should be taken on the evening before, and the morning of, your colonoscopy. It is generally advised that all blood pressure or heart medications should be taken with a small amount of water before your examination. Be sure to notify your gastroenterologist if you are taking blood thinners (Coumadin, Plavix, Aspirin, Pletal) or other anti-inflammatory medications for arthritis (Aleve, Ibuprofen, Motrin, Celebrex or similar drugs) which may need to be discontinued prior to your examination.
What to Expect During the Colonoscopy Procedure
Upon arrival, you will be asked to check in at our kiosk, which is a computerized check in system to help speed up the registration process. Upon completion of your registration, A nurse will escort you to the pre-procedure area. You will be asked to change into a hospital gown and all belongings will be placed in your own personal locker. Before the colonoscopy, you will have an IV catheter placed in your arm or hand. You will receive a light sedative to keep you comfortable and relaxed during the procedure. At Northern New Jersey Center for Advanced Endoscopy, the anesthesia is provided by a staff Anesthesiologist who will monitor you during your procedure. The physician will insert the colonoscope in through your rectum to access your colon. During the procedure, the physician may take a small portion, or biopsy, of the tissue lining your colon for further testing. Any polyps, if found, may also be removed during the colonoscopy. These tissue samples will be sent to a laboratory for further examination by a pathologist. A colonoscopy is typically completed in less than 30 minutes.
After the Colonoscopy
Recovery will last approximately one 1/2 hour. During this time, you may experience mild cramping or bloating. You will be asked by the nursing staff to pass gas to help release the air that was used to inflate your colon. Your physician will meet with you in the recovery room to discuss the findings from your procedure. You will need to arrange for someone to drive you home. You will not be allowed to drive, or operate any heavy machinery for 24 hours after your procedure. Your doctor will discuss with you when you can resume all meds you may be taking. Inform your physician if you have bloody stools after your procedure, especially if a polyp was removed. Some degree of bloating or cramping may occur until all of the air has been released from your colon. You should contact your physician if you have any questions or concerns about after effects from your colonoscopy. Patients generally report little or no ill effects following their colonoscopy.
Preparing for Gastroscopy
Prior to your gastroscopy procedure, you will be provided written instructions. The stomach and duodenum must be empty of food and liquids for the gastroscopy. You should not eat or drink after midnight the evening before your morning gastroscopy or at least 4 to 6 hours prior to the procedure if it is to be performed in the afternoon. Be sure to share any health conditions, allergies and medications you are taking with the physician or staff member preparing you for your procedure. You should discuss with your physician which of your medications should be taken (with a small amount of water) in the morning of your gastroscopy. It is generally advised that all blood pressure or heart medications should be taken first thing in the morning of your examination.
During the Gastroscopy Procedure
Your gastroscopy procedure will be performed at the Ambulatory Center for Endoscopy, LLC, which is an outpatient ambulatory endoscopy facility. You will be asked to wear comfortable clothing and you will be escorted to a private dressing room to change into a hospital gown. A sedative will be administered through an IV catheter placed in your arm or hand. An Anesthesiologist will monitor your vital signs before, during and after the procedure. Your physician will pass an endoscope carefully through your mouth and down your esophagus. A camera provides constant images of the lining of your esophagus, stomach and duodenum. Air may be instilled into your stomach and duodenum making it easier to see the walls of these structures. During the procedure, the physician may take tissue biopsies, remove abnormal growths or cauterize ulcers to stop bleeding. Any tissue samples will be sent to a laboratory to allow a pathologist to perform a microscopic examination. The examination is typically completed within 15 minutes.
After the Gastroscopy Procedure
Recovery will last approximately an ½ hour You may feel bloated or nauseous and some patients report a mild sore throat. Throat pain or discomfort may last a day or two, but is not a common complaint. Your physician will visit with you when you are awake to share the immediate results with you. You will need to arrange for someone to drive you home as you will not be allowed to drive or operate heavy machinery for 24 hours after your procedure. Otherwise, you will be allowed to return to normal routines upon returning home. Your physician or gastroenterologist will discuss future treatments or visits with you and will share results with your primary care physician or other specialists treating you. The office will also call you once any biopsy reports are obtained. Patients generally report little or no ill effects following a gastroscopy.