Endoscopy | Colonoscopy Procedures |Dr. Murray Orbuch, NYC

An endoscopy is any procedure performed using a gastrointestinal endoscope, a tube with a tiny camera on the end. For an upper endoscopy, the endoscope is inserted through the mouth, into the esophagus and then into the stomach and the beginning of the small intestine. Endoscopy is used to identify many gastro-esophageal problems like stomach ulcers, duodenal ulcers, helicobacter pylori infections, celiac sprue, cancers, unexplained gastrointestinal bleeding and many others.

A Colonoscopy Procedure is an examination of the large intestine (colon) and the very end of the small intestine using a flexible endoscope called a colonoscope, which is inserted through the anus. A Colonoscopy is used to identify digestive problems like ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, colon polyps and cancer to name a few. A colonoscopy makes it possible to detect and remove abnormal tissue growths called polyps – a fleshy growth on the wall of the colon. If not removed, a polyp may develop into colorectal cancer, the second greatest cancer killer in the US today.

When a Colonoscopy Procedure is Necessary

For people who are 50 years of age, government guidelines suggest the start of routine screening with colonoscopy at regular intervals. This examination is typically covered by most insurance policies.If there is a family history of early colon cancer, commencing colon cancer screening at an earlier age is recommended. Other conditions predispose to greater risks for colon cancer, such as ulcerative and Crohn’s colitis, hereditary polyposis syndromes or familial cancer syndromes to name a few.

A telltale sign of an occult cancer of the colon can include changes in regular bowel habit, bleeding, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation or a change in the size of stools. Nearly 75% of all colon cancer cases occur in individuals with no known medical risk factors, further underscoring the importance of routine colon cancer screenings.

Importance of using the bowel prep and cleaning the bowel

A clean colon is a must for an accurate exam since it ensures a thorough view of the entire colon. If there is any retained matter inside the colon when the procedure is performed, Dr. Orbuch may not be able to see the colon surface clearly, reducing the accuracy of the colonoscopy. Cleaning the colon is a process commonly known as a “bowel prep” and Dr. Orbuch will discuss which option is best suited for you. It is important to follow the bowel prep instructions and finish all of the prescribed preparation.

Most Commonly asked questions about colonoscopy procedures

Will my colonscopy procedure cause me discomfort?

No, the sedation we use will keep you asleep and free of pain.

How do I prepare for my procedure?

Preparation is straightforward and is done the evening before the procedure. At your consultation, Dr. Orbuch will carefully review the preparation options and instructions with you. To learn more, please see the forms here.

When will I find out the results of my test?

After the colonoscopy procedure, Dr. Orbuch will personally discuss the preliminary findings, but you must follow up with an office visit to review the final results if a biopsy was done.

Are there side effects or things I need to prepare for after my colonoscopy?

The most common side effect is minor bloating which usually goes away within a few hours.

Will I need a ride home?

It is important that you arrange for someone to help you home after the tests, though they don’t need to be there with you through the examination. Full recovery from the anesthesia may take as long as 1-2 hours after your endoscopy, so for safety sake, a companion to accompany you home is imperative.

How long do I need to wait before I can go back to work?

If the examination is performed in the early morning, you may be well enough to do light work in the afternoon. Recovery from the sedation is relatively quick, typically one to two hours at most. However, operating machinery or critical decision-making should be avoided for the day.

How long does the procedure take?

The procedure itself usually takes from 20 minutes to an hour. From arrival to departure, expect to stay about 1 1/2 hours. Unforeseen delays may occur, but we will make every effort to stay on schedule.

What if something is found?

If something is found, a biopsy will be taken during the procedure. Taking biopsies is painless and helps us establish a diagnosis.