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Here are some answers to your questions

Why did my doctor recommend a colonoscopy?(ref 1)

The most common reasons for a colonoscopy are to screen for colon cancer, or to look for possible causes of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Chronic constipation
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Other intestinal problems


How long will the procedure take?(ref 2)

A colonoscopy usually takes less than 30 minutes


Is the procedure painful?(ref 3)

Colonoscopy is sometimes quite easy, causing very little discomfort, but many people have significant discomfort if they try it without sedation. However, the choice of sedation or (no sedation) should remain a shared decision between attending physician and patient.


When will I get the results?(ref 4)

Some results from a colonoscopy are available immediately after the procedure. After the anesthesia has worn off, the doctor will share results with the person or a designee. Biopsy results take a few days to come back.

References :

  1. Mayo Clinic. Tests and Procedures. Colonoscopy. Available at: www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/colonoscopy/basics/definition/prc-20013624?p=1. Accessed April 21, 2015.
  2. Canadian Digestion Health Foundation. Understanding Colonoscopy. Available at: www.cdhf.ca/bank/document_en/48understanding-colonoscopy.pdf. Accessed May 5, 2015.
  3. Reference links:
    1. Douglas K. Rex, M.D. 10 Questions You Need to Ask About Colonoscopy. New York Times.com. Available at: www.nytimes.com/2009/02/24/health/esn-colonoscopy-expert.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&. Accessed April 21, 2015.
    2. Armstrong D, Barkun A, Bridges R, et al. Canadian Association of Gastroenterology consensus guidelines on safety and quality indicators in endoscopy. Can J Gastroenterol. 2012 Jan;26(1):17-31. Available at: www.pulsus.com/journals/abstract.jsp?sCurrPg=journal&jnlKy=2&atlKy=10418&isuKy=1007&isArt=t. Accessed May 14, 2015
  4. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Colonoscopy. Available at: www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/diagnostic-tests/colonoscopy/Documents/ColonoscopyFS_T_508.pdf. Accessed May 5, 2015.