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Colonoscopy Q&A

Q: Will I need a ride home from my colonoscopy?

A: Yes, you cannot drive yourself home due to the medication you receive; you cannot drive until the next day. A friend or relative must be able to accompany you into your home, otherwise you cannot undergo the procedure. (Unless you have the procedure without sedation.)

Q: Can I eat the day before my colonoscopy?

A: No, you must carefully follow preparatory instructions for your colonoscopy and only consume clear liquids on the day before your exam.

Q: How long does a colonoscopy take?

A: You can expect to go home from your procedure approximately two hours after you arrive. The colonoscopy procedure itself takes about 20-30 minutes.

Q: Will I feel any pain during the procedure?

A: Most patients undergoing a colonoscopy feel little or no discomfort.

Q: Why can’t I consume red Gatorade®, red Kool-aid®, or red Crystal Lite® before the procedure?

A: The artificial colors in these drinks may discolor the fluid in the colon and make it appear like blood. For this reason, you must avoid them.

Q: What is the difference between having a colonoscopy and a flexible sigmoidoscopy?

A: A sigmoidoscopy is a shorter test that requires less preparation, but is less thorough in scope. A colonoscopy requires greater preparation the day before and sedation for the procedure, but allows for a more extensive examination of the colon.

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