What to ExpectFind a Gastroenterologist
Depending on your doctor’s recommendation, you may receive a colonoscopy or endoscopy. These are minimally invasive, outpatient procedures that do not require a hospital stay. You can typically expect results from specially trained doctors within a few days.
You may undergo a:
- Colonoscopy. You consume a clear liquid diet the day before the exam, followed by a liquid laxative preparation to empty the colon. We give you a short-acting anesthesia intravenously (through a vein), so you are not awake during the procedure. The doctor inserts a thin, flexible instrument with a camera and light (colonoscope) into the anus. This provides detailed images of your colon, so we can detect any abnormalities. Patients typically do not experience any discomfort after the exam.
- Endoscopy. You do not consume any food for at least six hours prior to your procedure but may drink clear liquids until four hours beforehand. You may also rinse your mouth until the time of the procedure. We give you anesthesia, so you are not awake during the exam. The doctor passes a thin, flexible tube with a camera and light (endoscope) through your mouth and the esophagus. This provides detail images of your upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract. In addition to performing a visual exam, your doctor may obtain tissue samples (biopsies), remove polyps, control bleeding from ulcers or abnormal blood vessels, and dilate (stretch) narrowed areas. An upper GI endoscopy typically lasts 10-12 minutes.