The purpose of this is to inform you about what to expect on the day of your scheduled colonoscopy, in order to reduce any stress you may feel about this unfamiliar event. One thing is clear: if performed correctly, colonoscopy is a completely painless procedure with minimal risk and significant potential benefits.
Before the procedure
On arrival to the hospital, you should know that you will have already completed the most difficult part of the procedure, namely the bowel preparation. As long as you keep to the schedule we have provided for taking the prep, there is no risk of the cleansing solution ‘catching up’ with you on the way to the hospital.
When you arrive at the Endoscopy Department on the 4th floor (that is, the level of the main entrance of Hygeia Hospital), you should register with the Front Desk secretaries. You need not arrive too early unless you have to go through approval for your procedure from your private insurance carrier. After registering, you may need to wait a few minutes until your exam room is ready. This wait may rarely last slightly longer.
Once your room is ready, you will be led there by the member of the nursing staff who will help take care of you during the procedure as well. The nurse will ask a few questions on your medical history, and will then ask you to undress and lie down on the examination trolley. You will not be entirely naked, since you will be wearing your shirt, a robe and possibly even a special pair of shorts (make sure you wear the open end toward the back!)
The next person you will meet will be the anesthesiologist who will provide the sedation which will ensure a painless procedure. After the repetition of a few questions (please be patient if you already answered them for the nurse), you will be asked to sign the consent forms for the procedure, meaning that you understand and agree to proceed with the test.
After that, a small intravenous catheter will be inserted into a vein on your hand or arm; this is necessary for providing the sedative medication. Do not be afraid, this is a minor pinch.
The preparation for the colonoscopy is completed with checking your blood pressure (that is that tight band inflating around your arm) and your pulse (that is the rhythmic bleep of the machine that measures your oxygen level).
Now is the turn of the doctor to come in and speak with you before the colonoscopy begins. Once sedation is given, you will feel completely comfortable, and you will be asleep for as long as is required in order to complete the examination.
After the colonoscopy
Once you awaken from sedation, the procedure will have been completed. The doctor will likely already have left the room, since recovery from sedation is supervised by the anesthesiologist and the nursing staff.
Soon you will be taken on the examination trolley to the recovery area, close to other patients. Now is the time to enjoy the relaxing effects of sedation for a little while longer. Do not hurry, there is no rush.
When you feel you are ready (usually after 15-20 minutes), the nurse in charge of recovery will help you get dressed and will lead you back to the waiting area where the process began. You are then allowed to drink water from the fountain and to feast on the cookies on the tray. You deserve it, it’s been several hours since your last meal!
Once the effects of sedation have worn off, the doctor will invite you to his office to discuss any findings, provide the report and any recommendations, and answer any questions.
Your total length of stay with us in the Endoscopy Department will be about 2,5-3 hours.
We are certain that in the end you will also say what all others have said: namely, that colonoscopy was much simpler that you had imagined!