NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Rectal Cancer, Version 1.2017
A colonoscopy is a procedure that allows your doctor
to examine your colon. A total colonoscopy is a study
of your entire large intestine. Your doctor will look for
polyps and other diseases.
You may be put on a liquid diet for 1 to 3 days before
the test. You may also take a laxative or an enema
the night before. This will clean out your intestine.
Right before the test, you may be given a sedative
to lessen any pain. As shown in
will likely wear a hospital gown. The test will be
performed while you lie on your side.
A colonoscope is the device used for the test. Part
of it looks like a thin tube. It has a light and camera.
This part will be inserted into your anus and gently
guided through your large intestine.
To see better, gas may be pumped into your intestine
to make it bigger. You may be asked to shift a little to
help your doctor guide the device. A picture of your
colon will be viewed by your doctor on a screen. If a
polyp is found, a cutting tool will be inserted through
the tube to remove it.
A colonoscopy takes about 30 to 60 minutes.
Afterward, you may stay for another hour for any
drugs that were used to wear off. However, you’ll still
need someone to drive you home. The next day, you
will likely feel normal. If you have severe pain, bloody
stool, or weakness, contact your doctor.
Your entire colon should be
examined if you have rectal
cancer. A total colonoscopy is a
procedure that allows your doctor
to look for and remove any tissue
that looks abnormal. It involves
inserting a thin device into your
body that has a light, camera, and
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