Sure, a colonoscopy isn’t on anyone’s list of favorite things to do, but look at the bright side — you’ll get an awesome nap. Most people receive what is known as “conscious sedation” during their colonoscopy. Anesthesia is delivered via an IV and you’ll feel drowsy almost immediately. You’ll nod off and when the procedure is over, you will be woken up. Most patients feel nothing during the procedure nor do they remember anything about the procedure.
The colonoscopy takes about 15 to 60 minutes. When you factor in the prep, waiting and recovery time, you’ll be at the colonoscopy facility for two to three hours. Because of the anesthesia, you will need a responsible adult to drive you home. You’ll also want to plan to take the day off from work and rest — it might be the perfect day to binge watch that television show you’ve been meaning to catch. After the procedure, you’ll want to stay hydrated and you’ll certainly be ready for solid foods again.
If the nap and a day of rest don’t sound enticing enough, the real reason to get a colonoscopy is to find and prevent colon cancer. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer (excluding skin cancer). During the colonoscopy, your doctor will look for and remove any polyps. Over time, polyps can become cancerous, so it’s important to find and remove them. Most people should get their first colonoscopy at age 50 and will only need additional colonoscopies every 10 years, so enjoy the rare downtime and stay healthy.
Take the next steps:
- Learn how a colonoscopy is performed.
- Check out our colonoscopy FAQs.
- Find a healthcare provider.
- Learn more about Digestive and Liver Health services at the University of Michigan.
The University of Michigan Digestive and Liver Health services is one of the largest programs in the country, providing prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases involving the gastrointestinal tract and liver. Our 60-plus physicians are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of all diseases of the gastrointestinal system.
For more than 160 years, the University of Michigan Health System has been a national leader in advanced patient care, innovative research to improve human health and comprehensive education of physicians and medical scientists. The three U-M hospitals have been recognized numerous times for excellence in patient care, including a #1 ranking in Michigan and national rankings in many specialty areas by U.S. News & World Report.