A colonoscopy is an examination that allows the inner lining of your large intestine (the colon) to be seen and evaluated.

Before the examination

You may be asked to temporarily stop taking some of your medications before the procedure (for example, anticoagulants).

Preparation for your intestines

For the examination, the intestines must be adequately cleaned.

It is important to follow the intestinal preparation prescribed by your doctor. Refer to the sheet related to the intestinal preparation that your doctor prescribed (for a full colonoscopy). 

It is important to bring:

  • An up-to-date list of the medications you are taking.
  • Your health insurance card.
  • Your hospital card (if you do not have one, we will make one for you). 

After the examination

You must be accompanied for your return home.

It is important to know that you cannot drive for the 24 hours following your examination, if it required sedation. 

How a colonoscopy is performed

You will be administered medication to facilitate the examination and for your comfort. The doctor will then introduce a small flexible tube called a colonoscope into your rectum. With the help of an optical fibre (camera), the doctor sees the images projected onto a screen allowing the examination to proceed. This examination detects inflammation, the origins of bleeding, polyps or colorectal cancer. To be able to see all the lining of the colon, gas or air is introduced into the intestine which can cause cramps and a bloated feeling during the examination.

Biopsy and removal of polyps

During the examination, it is possible to proceed painlessly with the removal of polyps or a biopsy. If required, a small instrument is introduced into the colonoscope to remove a tissue fragment. The collected sample is sent to the hospital laboratory for analysis.

Length of the examination

The examination lasts for approximately 20 minutes, and you will be kept under observation for about 30 minutes or more depending on your situation.