During the procedure, everything will be done to ensure your comfort. An intravenous, or IV, line will be inserted to give you medication to make you relaxed and drowsy. The drug will enable you to remain awake and cooperative, but it may prevent you from remembering much of the experience.
Once you are fully relaxed, your doctor will do a rectal exam with a gloved, lubricated finger; then the lubricated colonoscope will be gently inserted.
As the scope is slowly and carefully passed, you may feel as if you need to move your bowels, and because air is introduced to help advance the scope, you may feel some cramping or fullness. Generally, however, there is a little or no discomfort.
The time needed for colonoscopy will vary, but on the average, the procedure takes about 30 minutes. Afterwards, you will be cared for in a recovery area until the effects of the medication have worn off. At this time, your doctor will inform you about the results of your colonoscopy and provide any additional information that you need to know. You will also be given instructions about how soon you can eat and drink, plus other guidelines for resuming your normal routine.
By the time you are ready to go home, you will feel stronger and more alert. Nevertheless, you should rest for the remainder of the day. It is advised that you have a family member or friend take you home.