It’s safe and pain-free.
During a colonoscopy, you have a whole team by your side to ensure your safety, which may include a gastroenterologist, an anesthesiology professional, a nurse, and a technician. This highly skilled team is assembled to ensure your comfort and safety during the procedure.
Before your colonoscopy, you are lightly sedated and your vital signs will be monitored during your procedure. The sedation will allow you to feel relaxed and comfortable. Your gastroenterologist will then insert into your rectum a colonoscope — a thin, flexible, hollow tube with a tiny camera on the end — to view the entire colon. Many patients are so comfortable that they do not even realize the procedure was completed.
Your body is completely covered during the exam.
You may be wondering how much of your body is exposed during a colonoscopy. But don’t worry about being embarrassed or exposed — you will wear a hospital gown, and a sheet provides extra covering. Rest assured that, during the procedure, your gastroenterologist will be focused on a monitor displaying the inside of your colon, not on your backside.
It goes by quickly and you’ll meet with your gastroenterologist following the procedure.
A typical colonoscopy takes approximately 30 minutes. If polyps are found and need to be removed, it may take longer. Once the procedure is finished, you slowly wake up. Then you get dressed and meet with your gastroenterologist, who will tell you what they saw during the colonoscopy. If a biopsy was taken or a polyp removed, your doctor will contact you in a few days once the pathologist reviews the tissue sample.
Prepping for it actually takes longer; you can read more about that here.