What is a colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is a diagnostic test that allows you to examine the surface of the colon by inserting, through the anus, a thin and flexible tube that is advanced slowly while introducing air to relax the walls of the intestine. The colon is made up of the last 150 or 180 centimeters of intestine, terminating in the rectum and the anus.

What is the required preparation?
The colon must be completely clean to obtain an accurate and complete procedure, so the instructions must be strictly adhered to.
It is possible to continue taking medication on a regular basis, even on the morning of the procedure except for iron supplements that must be discontinued one week before the procedure.

During the colonoscopy:
a sedative is usually given to the patient. During the procedure it is possible to experience transient phenomena of meteorism or cramps. If the doctor thinks that an area should be subjected to further evaluation, a biopsy will be performed for analysis. Generally these procedures are not painful.

After the procedure:
The patient is kept under medical supervision until the effects of the sedative have disappeared. The patient should be taken home and should not drive or make important decisions until the next day, as reflexes may be slowed down and the faculty of judgment may be compromised due to the sedative drug administered.
Cramps or meteorism may occur due to the air introduced during the exam. All this should end quickly with the gas leak.

Possible complications of colonoscopy:
Colonoscopy and polypectomy are generally safe procedures. A possible complication is given by the perforation or tearing of the wall of the intestine, which in this case would require surgery. This complication is very rare (1/1000). Bleeding may occur at the point of biopsy or polypectomy, but this is often an irrelevant phenomenon that only in very rare cases may require surgery or a blood transfusion. Some patients may have a reaction to sedatives, or complications due to heart or lung disease. Death is an extremely rare event in endoscopic procedures.