Endoscopy FAQ

Is it necessary to do the whole preparation?

The colonoscopy requires that you take a bowel prep or regimen of laxatives and a liquid diet.  This ensures that your colon is clean and clear of stool for a better examination.  It is very important that you follow the instructions given to you by your physician.  If you feel you cannot finish the prep, please contact your physician’s office for instructions. 

What are my physician’s credentials?

The gastroenterologists that perform procedures at the Ambulatory Surgery Center are board certified or board eligible through the American Board of Internal Medicine.

What if my prep makes me sick or dizzy?

Sometimes a bowel prep can make you nauseated or even cause you to vomit.  If you do vomit or are unable to continue your prep, be sure to notify your physician immediately.  The physician will instruct you on how to proceed with your preparation.

What should I bring on the day of my procedure?

Bring your insurance card(s) and reading glasses, and wear comfortable loose fitting clothes.  Bring a complete list of your medications, including dosages and frequencies.  Please do not bring jewelry, watches, money or other valuables to the surgical center.  While we do our best to protect your belongings, they are best secured at home.  The Ambulatory Surgery Center will not be responsible for lost items.

Can I take my medication before the procedure?

Your physician will give you instructions regarding medications.  If you are a diabetic, please contact the physician that manages your diabetes for specific instructions.

Why do I need someone to drive me home?

Even though sedatives wear off quickly after your procedure, they can affect your coordination for up to 12 hours.  Technically, you are legally impaired.  Therefore, for your safety and for the safety of others on the road, please bring someone to drive you home.  Your procedure will be cancelled if you have no one to drive you home.

What can I eat after I leave?

Generally diets are not restricted following the procedure. 

Am I going to be “knocked out” for the procedure?

Most endoscopic procedures are done under what is called “conscious” or “moderate” sedation.  This involves giving you one or more medications through an intravenous (IV) line.  This type of sedation causes you to become drowsy and relaxed, and you may sleep during the procedure, not consciously aware of what is occurring.  In addition, some medications produce a temporary short-term amnesia effect.  Therefore, you may not remember anything that occurs during and sometimes for a short time after the procedure. 

This type of sedation does not really “knock you out”.  You will be able to breathe on your own and follow simple commands.  For most patients, this sedation is more than adequate for their procedure.  If you drink moderate to large quantities of alcohol, take sleeping pills, or are on anti-depressants or pain pills on a regular basis, this can alter the efficacy of the sedative.  Be sure to discuss this with your physician prior to the day of your procedure.

What if complications occur during my procedure?

The Ambulatory Surgery Center is fully equipped with the latest emergency technology and supplies.  The registered nurses are trained in ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support).

How will I feel after my procedure?

After awakening from sedation, you may feel drowsy and sleepy for the remainder of the day.  If you have an upper endoscopy, you may find yourself belching for a short time following awakening, and your throat may be sore, but usually you will be back to normal in 24 hours.  If you have a colonoscopy, you may feel bloated immediately after the procedure, and you will be encouraged to expel the air.  Do not be embarrassed – air was introduced during your procedure to dilate your colon for better viewing. 

When will I get my results?

Your physician will usually be able to tell you how well your procedure went and possibly some preliminary findings prior to your discharge.  If tissue samples were obtained, your physician’s office should be in contact with you in 7 – 10 days with the results.  Contact your physician’s office if you have any questions about your results.