Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy is a topic covered in the Davis's Lab & Diagnostic Tests.

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Synonym/Acronym:
Full colonoscopy, lower endoscopy, lower panendoscopy.

Rationale
To visualize and assess the lower colon for tumor, cancer, and infection.

Patient Preparation
Inform the patient that a laxative and cleansing enema may be needed the day before the procedure, with cleansing enemas on the morning of the procedure, depending on the institution's policy. Instruct the patient that to reduce the risk of aspiration related to nausea and vomiting, solid food and milk or milk products are restricted for at least 6 hr, and clear liquids are restricted for at least 2 hr prior to general anesthesia, regional anesthesia, or sedation/analgesia (monitored anesthesia). The patient may be asked to be NPO after midnight. The American Society of Anesthesiologists has fasting guidelines for risk levels according to patient status. More information can be located at www.asahq.org.

Patients on beta blockers before the surgical procedure should be instructed to take their medication as ordered during the perioperative period.

Regarding the patient's risk for bleeding, the patient should be instructed to avoid taking natural products and medications with known anticoagulant, antiplatelet, or thrombolytic properties or to reduce dosage, as ordered, prior to the procedure. Number of days to withhold medication is dependent on the type of anticoagulant. Note the last time and dose of medication taken.

Patients on beta blockers before the surgical procedure should be instructed to take their medication as ordered during the perioperative period. Protocols may vary among facilities.

Ensure that this procedure is performed before an upper gastrointestinal (GI) study or barium swallow to avoid interference from retained barium. If a computed tomography (CT) scan is requested, ensure that barium studies were performed more than 4 days before the CT scan.

Normal Findings

  • Normal intestinal mucosa with no abnormalities of structure, function, or mucosal surface in the colon or terminal ileum.

Critical Findings and Potential Interventions
N/A

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