Bilingual: English/Spanish Consultation

Hudson County Gastroenterology

(201) 854-4646 

Contact Us


What is a Colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy visually examines the lining of the rectum and the colon with a flexible video colonoscope.

Why is it Done?

This procedure lets the doctor see things such as inflamed tissue, abnormal growths, and ulcers. It is often used to detect early signs of cancer in the colon and rectum. It also looks for causes of unexplained changes in bowel habits and as evaluation of symptoms such as abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, and weight loss.

How is a Colonoscopy Performed?

You will be instructed to lie on your left side so that the colonoscope can be advanced through the large intestine. An anal area inspection and rectal exam are performed, along with an assessment of the prostate in males. The lining of the rectum and colon are carefully examined. If necessary, polyps are removed, and biopsies obtained through the colonoscope.

When the area has been viewed, and samples are taken, the endoscope is removed. The procedure usually lasts from 15 to 60 minutes. Rarely, the entire colon may not be easily visualized because of difficulties in advancing the scope or the presence of stool. The physician may have to repeat the procedure later or discuss an alternative treatment.

How to Prepare?

  • Eat or drink nothing for eight to 12 hours before the test.
  • Your physician may ask you to stop eating and drinking after midnight before your exam.
  • You will receive an oral preparation the evening before and the morning of the procedure. In some cases, an enema is done the evening before or the day of the procedure.
  • Adjustments to your medications may be required, as recommended by your physician.
  • It is suggested that a family member or friend accompany you to the procedure and home as you will be given sedation and not allowed to drive.

How Does Having a Colonoscopy Feel?

The experience varies from patient to patient. Most people will not feel it due to the sedation. Throughout the colonoscopic procedure, there may be sensations of pressure, gassiness, bloating, or cramping. You may sense the scope moving in the colon. The doctor and a nurse will observe you closely to monitor your comfort level. If needed, extra sedation may be given.

After the Test

You are transferred to the recovery room until you are fully awake. Initial results may be given, but if biopsies were performed, results will take a few days. After this, you are requested to get dressed for discharge. Written post-procedure instructions are provided at this point.


Due to the effects of sedation, the physician may speak with your family or delay talking with you. This discussion may involve a follow-up visit. A return visit may take up to a week before your physician receives biopsy results.