Lakeside Women's Hospital

Health Care Designed Exclusively for Women

Colonoscopy

For one reason or another many women seem to need a little push when it comes to having valuable health screenings performed. For this reason Lakeside Women’s Hospital is encouraging you to schedule a colonoscopy. As most people know, a colonoscopy is an evaluation of the lining of the colon to check for medical problems such as bleeding or the presence of cancer. It is the method of choice for screening patients at high risk for colon cancer. To schedule a “Gentle Colonoscopy” call: 405-951-1300.
Woman in garden with watering can

 

Are you nervous about having a colonoscopy? You are not alone. The thought of going through the procedure can be a little unsettling, even though you know it is for your own good. Most people say it is the anticipation and preparation prior to the procedure that is worse than the procedure itself. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States for women and men combined, so it is imperative that we work together to intensify our efforts to inform you about the ways to proactively protect your health against this largely preventable disease.

What is a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a procedure that enables your doctor to examine the lining of the colon (large bowel) for abnormalities by inserting a lubricated flexible tube that is the thickness of your finger into the anus and advancing it slowly into the rectum and colon.

The colon must be completely clean for the procedure to be accurate and complete. INSTRUCTIONS: For all colonoscopy patients:

  1. Don’t eat food or drink with red or purple coloring three days prior to exam.
  2. Bring your insurance card on admission to facility.
  3. Do not wear or bring any jewelry on the day of your procedure.
  4. Wear comfortable loose clothing, (pajamas, jogging suit, etc.). Wear flat shoes.
  5. Arrange to be accompanied by an adult who will accept responsibility for you and to drive you home. We STRONGLY encourage that person to remain at the facility during your procedure and be responsible for discharge instructions. Have an adult stay with you for about six hours after the procedure. IF YOU ARE ALONE, YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO TAKE A TAXI, BUS, AND OR WALK HOME ETC. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE SOMEONE TO ACCOMPANY YOU HOME YOUR PROCEDURE WILL HAVE TO BE RESCHEDULED.
  6. Do not drive a car, operate machinery, or make important legal decisions after the sedation.
  7. PLEASE NOTIFY NURSE ON ADMISSION TO PRE-PROCEDURE AREA THE COLOR AND CONSISTENCY OF BOWEL MOVEMENTS.

Most medications must be continued as usual, but some can interfere with the preparations or the examination. It is best to inform the physician of your current medications and allergies to food and/or medicine. 

  1. STOP any diet or herbal supplements 2 weeks prior to exam.
  2. STOP taking iron and multivitamins containing iron 5 days prior to exam.
  3. STOP taking anti-inflammatory pain medications 5 days prior to exam. (Ibuprofen or Motrin, Naproxen or Aleve, Aspirin or Aspirin containing products such as Alka-Seltzer etc.) IF IN DOUBT ABOUT ANY OF YOUR MEDICATIONS ASK YOUR PHARMACIST ABOUT ANY PRESCRIBED OR OVER THE COUNTER MEDICATIONS.
  4. If you are on anticoagulant (BLOOD THINNERS) therapy such as COUMADIN, PLAVIX, WARFARIN etc. please consult your PRIMARY PHYSICIAN to see if you are able to stop this medication for 5 days prior to the procedure and notify a nurse  at 405-936-1300 IMMEDIATELY.
  5. FROM YOUR GROCERY STORE PURCHASE:
    1. 1.Clear liquids, such as water, tea, coffee, 7-Up, ginger ale, apple or white grape juice, Jell-O and/or Popsicles (NOTHING WITH RED OR PURPLE COLORING), clear soup or broth. DRINK LOTS OF CLEAR FLUIDS. THE KEY TO A SUCCESSFUL PREPARATION IS DRINKING PLENTY OF CLEAR LIQUIDS TO STAY HYDRATED.
  6. Use hemorrhoid ointments or creams on your bottom to create a barrier to minimize irritation from frequent bowel movements and wiping. Flushable hemorrhoid wipes are available for use instead of toilet paper. 

For a colonoscopy, you need to clear your colon of all obstructions and we do mean all. The key to a successful bowel preparation for a colonoscopy is following the clear liquid diet and medication dosing instructions.

What can be expected during a Colonoscopy?

Once you arrive at our center, a nurse will greet you, ask you to change into a hospital gown, obtain initial vital signs, review the discharge instructions, and start an IV. Next, the doctor will meet with you to answer any questions and to review the procedure with you and obtain your consent. Then the anesthesiologist that will be providing your sedation will meet with you to answer any questions and to review the procedure with you.  When you are ready, the nurse will bring you to a private procedure room and have you lie on your left side. We will make sure you are comfortable with a pillow and warm blanket. The nurse will place nasal oxygen and several monitoring devices on your body. This equipment will allow us to monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen level during the colonoscopy. This is routine for all patients. Once you are ready, you will receive a sedative and pain medication through the IV. This medication will bring you into a state called moderate sedation: which means you should not feel or remember the procedure.  You will need to remain at our facility for at least 30 minutes after the procedure or until the sedative wears off. While you are in this relaxed sleepy state the doctor inserts a thin, flexible tube into your rectum and gently eases it through your colon. The tube is equipped with a tiny video camera that transmits a clear picture to a video monitor, allowing the doctor to visualize the inside of your colon walls. Imagine your colon as flat as an empty balloon; the doctor inflates it enough to visualize the wall of your colon for abnormalities or polyps. The colonoscopy takes approximately 20 to 60 minutes on average, time could vary depending on the success of the bowel prep or if any specimens are obtained.

If any abnormal tissue or small polyps are detected the doctor can remove all or part or it by using a tiny instrument that is passed through the scope. The biopsy or polyp (specimen) is sent to a lab for evaluation. 

After the exam, you are taken to our recovery area where you monitored until you awaken and tolerate fluids. Most people feel well rested after waking up; some stay drowsy for several hours after discharge. You may experience some bloating, passing gas, and cramping intermittently through out the day. This should disappear quickly after you start ambulating, we encourage you to pass the gas and not hold it in.

The doctor will visit with the person who accompanied you to the hospital and the nurse will review discharge instructions with them.

A copy of your colon report and discharge instructions will be given to you at discharge.

AGAIN, you many not remember anything for several hours after being medicated. Most patients do not remember the recovery area at all and very few remember the ride home.

RESULTS OF BIOPSIES WILL BE AVAILABLE IN 7 TO 10 BUSINESS DAYS. The total time at our facility is approximately 2-3 hours. REMEMBER THIS IS AN ESTIMATE

What are the possible complications of a colonoscopy?

One possible complication is a perforation or tear through the bowel wall that could require surgery. Death is a remote possibility with any interventional procedure. Bleeding may occur from the site of a biopsy or polypectomy. It is usually minor and stops on its own or can be controlled through the colonoscope. Rarely blood transfusions or surgery is required. Other potential risks include a reaction to the sedatives used and complications from heart or lung disease. Localized irritation of the vein where medications were injected may cause a tender lump lasting for several weeks, but this will go away eventually. Although complications after colonoscopy are uncommon, it is important for you to recognize early signs of any possible complications. Please contact the doctor who performed the procedure if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Severe abdominal pain, to touch or movement
  • Fever over 101F and/or chills
  • Rectal bleeding of a tablespoon or more (bleeding can occur several days after the polypectomy)

Colonoscopy and polypectomy are generally safe when performed by doctors who have been trained and are experienced in these endoscopic procedures.



Lakeside Women's Hospital is partially owned by physicians. These include: Susan Chambers, Whitney Driver, Valerie Engelbrecht, D. Nelson Fong, Margaret Hall, Laura Mackie,
Jennifer Nelson, Dana Stone, Lisa Wasemiller-Smith, and William Miller.

© Lakeside Women’s Hospital Pencil
A Member of the INTEGRIS Network
11200 N. Portland
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73120
Phone: 405-936-1500
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