How Long Does a Colonoscopy Take?


how long does a colonoscopy take

A colonoscopy is a known and much common medical procedure. The purpose of a colonoscopy is to allow the medical professional to examine the internal linings of the colon; which is a part of the large intestine. It is normally not a risky or dangerous procedure but still there are many people who are concerned to know how long does a colonoscopy take and what to expect after a colonoscopy or before it.  In this article, we will be addressing how long does a colonoscopy take?  It will also help you to understand what else to expect from the procedure.

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Medical Equipment Used to Carry Out Colonoscopy

Since a colonoscopy requires the medical doctor to look inside of your colon, intestine or parts of the rectum, it requires medical equipment that can reach down inside of your digestive system. For this purpose, a super thin and flexible long tube is used. A tiny camera is fixed at one end of this tube so that the doctor can take pictures of the inside lining of various different parts of the digestive system for the medical team to later study. All pictures taken are sent directly to a monitor. The length of this tube is normally not more than four feet but it can be altered to be longer or shorter as per the requirement.

how long does a colonoscopy take

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Purpose of a Colonoscopy Procedure

The purpose of a colonoscopy is basically to study and examine the inner linings of various parts of the digestive system. This is an endoscopic method which is only carried out under the supervision of medical experts and professionals. This procedure is carried out when it is important to examine the inner parts of the digestive system, mainly the colon and rectum for tumors, lesions or inflammation of any sort, early signs of cancer, red or swollen tissue, ulcers and bleeding. The whole procedure should be painless should be easy and should be without difficulty. Colonoscopy is used to treat the things such as:

  • Tumors.
  • Ulcers.
  • Redness or Swelling.
  • Colon polyps.
  • Pouches along the colon wall.
  • Narrowed areas of the colon.
  • Long term chronic diarrhea
  • Any problem related to colon.

How Long Does Colonoscopy Take?

Many people who are set to undergo a colonoscopy procedure are mainly very much concerned for how long does a colonoscopy takes because from the length of the procedure they estimate what they are signing up for. Since this procedure is for the diagnosis of serious problems such as cancer itself, a general assumption is that this procedure will go on for hours in a single stretch. This is however not the case. In reality, the average time for a colonoscopy is not more than 30 minutes. An estimated time range to expect is anywhere between 20 to 30 minutes. This half hour is distributed into two-time frames of 15 minutes each; one for putting the tube inside the body and the remaining 15 minutes to take the tube out. Any extension in the time duration will only be due to any complexities that might happen during the procedure itself. Once the procedure has been completed, you will be kept in the hospital for almost one day minimally for the post-op follow ups.

Risks Involved In Colonoscopy Procedure

Though this procedure is generally very safe, however, there might be a few side effects or risks that can be involved. Though any complaint after a colonoscopy is rare but it is good to be aware of what they can be before you decide to undergo the procedure itself.

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  • Cramping

As the colonoscope is inserted through the intestine so after colonoscopy may be there is some cramping for some time after the whole procedure. Follow the physician’s instructions so that there will be less cramping.

  • Abdominal Swelling and Gas Pain

Gas is the common cause of abdominal swelling and pain after colonoscopy, to view the linings of colon doctor inserts some air through the colonoscope to pump up the bowel. After colonoscopy air is sucked out as much as possible but some air also remain there, as the colon contract to expel the air, patient may feel moderate gas pain, you need to consult your doctor or follow the instructions given by the doctor to have less gas pain or abdominal swelling after colonoscopy.

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  • Irregularity in Bowel Movement

After the colonoscopy you need to take soft food with less fiber. Take soft food like milk products, yogurt, salad, soup and fruits so that it will digest easily and no hard food or sugar is taken to control the irregularity in bowel movement and help cure early.

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  • Allergic Reactions

If you have some kind of skin allergy or you are allergic patient also it is recommended to go through skin testing test for the medicines used in or after colonoscopy to avoid further problems. It is seen in some rare cases that after colonoscopy the patient can have allergy like rashes in abdomen or other parts of body, mild swelling on cheeks, wheezing, dizziness, vomiting or diarrhea.



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