Frequently Asked Questions:
What Occurs During the Examination?
The colonoscopy examination is done by inserting a long flexible lighted tube into the rectum and beyond. In many cases, the instrument can be inserted throughout the entire extent of the large intestine, permitting a complete examination. However, you will be sedated with medications which will help the cramps. Be sure and tell us if you are allergic to any medications.
What is a Polyp?
A polyp is a growth that is attached to the inside of the colon. Most of these growths are benign but their removal is strongly recommended so that the polyp may be examined under the microscope, permitting an exact diagnosis to me made. In addition, benign polyps at times may become malignant with the passage of time. Therefore, we believe they should be removed. At times, a polyp is discovered unexpectedly during the course of a colonoscopic examination which is being done for other reasons. We recommend that all patients give us permission ahead of time to remove polyps if they are discovered.
What happens if a polyp is discovered?
If a polyp is discovered, a thin wire is passed through the colonscope and the polyp is encircled. The snare is tightened and an electrical current is passed through the wire which cuts off the polyp. The polyp is then brought out of the colon and sent to the pathologist for further examination.
Are there any possible complications?
The possible complications from colonoscopy and polypectomy (polyp removal) include perforation (rupture) of colon, hemorrhage from the colon and side effects due to medications (sedatives) which are given.