Colonoscopy

A Colonoscopy Could Save Your Life

A colonoscopy is an exam of your colon, or large intestine. This test helps doctors find ulcers, polyps, tumors, and inflammation or bleeding in your large intestine.

Most importantly, a colonoscopy can identify signs of colon cancer, the second-largest cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. A colonoscopy can detect colon cancer at an early stage, when it is easiest to treat.

Trust Your Colonoscopy to Experts

Vanderbilt performs more colonoscopies than any other medical center in the region. Our Gastroenterology team will make your colon screening as easy to schedule and comfortable as possible.

Call (615) 322-0128 to schedule an appointment. You will need a referral from your primary care provider or gastroenterologist. Call us if you need help coordinating your referral.

How a Colonoscopy Works

In a colonoscopy, your doctor will use a slim, flexible tube with a camera at the tip to check your large intestine. Your doctor may only examine your large intestine, or they may take tissue samples for evaluation.

A colonoscopy typically takes a half hour to an hour. You will lie on your side the whole time. You will probably have anesthesia or sedation.

Afterward, you may feel minor abdominal discomfort as the air clears from your colon. You may notice a small amount of blood in your first bowel movement following the procedure; this is usually harmless.

Preparing for Your Colonoscopy

After you schedule your colonoscopy, our team will email you instructions about:

  • the schedule for your procedure
  • what you can eat and drink the day before
  • steps to prepare your colon
  • anesthesia or sedation
  • arranging for someone to accompany you (youll need someone to drive you to your appointment)