A colonoscopy is a procedure that enables your physician to examine the lining of the colon (large bowel) for abnormalities. To perform the colonoscopy, the patient is positioned on his/her left side. The physician inserts the colonoscope through the anus and passes it through the entire length of the colon.  
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The procedure typically takes between 20 and 60 minutes. A colonoscopy can be uncomfortable; therefore, patients are given intravenous sedatives and other pain medication. As a result, patients are not aware of the procedure while in progress and do not remember it afterward.

This procedure is widely used as a screening exam for early identification of colon cancer. Colonoscopies are also performed as part of the diagnosis and treatment of specific symptoms or conditions such as rectal bleeding and irritable bowel syndrome. The colonoscope can also be used to remove abnormal growths (polyps) and gather tissue samples for biopsy.

To assure a successful, exam, the patient’s bowel must be empty and clean. This requires a fast (clear liquids only) for at least 24 hours. The patient will also be required to take laxatives and drink special fluids as directed.

After the procedure, the patient should not drive or operate machinery for 24 hours. Some patients experience discomfort after the procedure, but this is usually minor and lasts only a short time.

Upper endoscopy is a procedure that enables the physician to visually examine the upper portion of the patient’s digestive tract including the esophagus, the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine (duodenum) using a thin flexible tube (endoscope) with its own lens and light source. The endoscope can also be used to take tissue samples for biopsy and to perform certain procedures such as cautery to stop internal bleeding. Endoscopies are used to diagnose, monitor, and treat such conditions as esophageal bleeding, ulcers, and abdominal pain.

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The procedure is performed with the patient lying down. The patient swallows the end of the endoscope, which is then passed through the remainder of the upper GI tract. To make this both possible and comfortable, a local anesthetic is applied to the patient’s mouth and throat (by spray or gargle) and a light sedative is given.

Preparation for the procedure includes fasting (no food or liquid) for at least 8 hours prior. After the procedure, the patient should not drive or operate machinery for 24 hours.

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