You are scheduled for a colonoscopy, an examination of the colon (large intestine) with a lighted flexible scope. During colonoscopy, if an abnormality is seen, it is biopsied and removed. A biopsy involves removing a portion or all of an abnormal area for subsequent microscopic examination.

What to Expect
Plan to be with us for a total of 3-4 hours. You will arrive at the gastroenterology lab about 60-90 minutes prior to your colonoscopy. When you arrive, you will need to complete paperwork and change into a patient gown. The nursing staff will perform a brief assessment, place an IV, and take you to the procedure room where you will be sedated and undergo colonoscopy. The colonoscopy itself takes about 30-60 minutes.

After the Procedure
After colonoscopy, you will rest in the recovery area while the sedative wears off. Due to the sedation, you may not remember your conversation with Dr. Gottesman after the colonoscopy. Please have a family member or friend stay with you and speak with the doctor and nurses after the procedure.

By law, you cannot drive for the rest of the day. We advise you to take the entire day off from work. Additionally, if a large polyp is removed at the time of colonoscopy, you should not fly in a plane for one week.

Colonoscopy is generally a very safe and well tolerated procedure. The video below is an excellent preview of what to expect before, during and after a colonoscopy.



1. One of the medications I was instructed to take the morning of my procedure is red. Can I take it?
Medications for blood pressure, heart conditions and seizures should be taken the morning of your exam, regardless of the color.

2. I feel like vomiting and do not think that I can drink any more. What should I do?
It is important that you continue to drink the solution if possible. Without a clean bowel, the doctor will not be able to see the inside of your colon to complete the examination. If you do vomit, wait 30 minutes and begin drinking the solution again. If not improved, call us and have a phone number of an open pharmacy in case we need to call in a prescription.

3. I drank a lot of the solution and have not yet gone to the bathroom. What should I do?
Keep drinking. Most people have a bowel movement after 1-2 hours. Some patients may take longer.

4. I am drinking the prep, and now have loose, watery stools. Do I still need to drink the rest of the prep?
Yes, you may solid stool higher in the colon that needs to be eliminated.

5. I already have diarrhea before taking the prep. Do I still have to take the laxative?
Yes, you must take the prep as directed by your doctor. Your colon is about 6 feet long. The entire colon must be emptied for your physician to see the colon clearly.

6. I see yellow color in the toilet bowel, and a few flecks of stool. What do I do?
If you drank the entire solution, or if your last bowel movements were clear enough that you were able to see the bottom of the toilet, you should be fine. It is okay if you have some flecks of material. The yellow color is the result of bile that normally colors the feces. This will not interfere with the examination.

7. My bottom is so sore. What can I do?
To clean the area, avoid rubbing. Gently pat with a wet wash cloth. Apply Desitin, vaseline, Preparation H, or Balmex liberally.

8. Can I chew gum or suck candy?
Yes, but nothing red.

9. What if I am still passing solid stool the morning of my test?
Take a tap water enema until it runs clear. If this does not work, call the office.

10. Can I brush my teeth?
Yes. Please do.

11. Can I wear my dentures?
Yes, you may wear your dentures to the endoscopy suite. However, you may be asked to remove them prior to the procedure.

12. I have been instructed to avoid all anti-inflammatory medications and blood thinners several days prior to the procedure. What can I take for pain relief and headaches?
You can take Tylenol ( acetaminophen).

13. Can I have chicken soup the day prior to colonoscopy?
You can have only the broth. No noodles, chicken or vegetables allowed.

14. Can I have a colonoscopy if I am menstruating?
Yes, the procedure can still be performed. We ask that you use a tampon if possible ( not absolutely necessary)