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Wentworth-Douglass Center for Advanced Endoscopy Eases Your Colonoscopy Worries

Tamara Juneau, RN, who has worked at the Wentworth-Douglass Center for Advanced Endoscopy Services for more than eight years helps alleviate the most common fears and worries expressed by colonoscopy patients.

#1 “The prep for a colonoscopy is too much!”

Colonoscopy preps require you to drink a lot of volume and can be uncomfortable. Why so much volume you ask? This is to help prevent dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Your colon needs to be empty to allow the provider to safely navigate through the colon, see inside, and not miss any polyps or masses. Tamara tells her patients that while the prep can be challenging for a day or two, it is nothing compared to what you might encounter if you let a colorectal health issue go undetected.

A possible cancer left undetected is far worse than changing your diet and needing to stay close to the bathroom for one night. Please follow the bowel prep instructions from your provider closely as this will help you have the best exam possible.
Please know you can eat anything your heart desires shortly after procedure is complete.

#2 “I am embarrassed”

Tamara tells her patients that your colonoscopy is “not about looking at your behind.” Most of your body will remain covered with a blanket during the entire procedure. Your provider, endoscopy technician, and nurse will be looking closely at the TV screen/monitor while they are navigating through the colon searching for polyps and other abnormalities. The anesthesia provider providing you with sedation will be watching you on other side of the stretcher right next to your head and monitoring you and your vital signs very closely.

#3 “I am afraid I will make a mess”

Believe it or not a colonoscopy is not messy! A pad is placed underneath you and the colonoscope has suction which removes any residual liquid in the colon. The scope/camera also has water irrigation and your provider cleans your colon wall as they are navigating. This is essentially like a car wash for your colon and helps to decrease the chance of missing a polyp. 

#4 “I don’t want to feel anything!”

At the Wentworth-Douglass Center for Advanced Endoscopy, our goal is to make sure you’re comfortable during the colonoscopy. The anesthesia or sedation that you will receive are given through an intravenous (IV) catheter that your nurse will insert before the procedure. The nurses numb the area before placing the IV.

During the colonoscopy your vital signs and breathing are monitored very closely. The sedation or anesthesia will make you sleepy and comfortable throughout procedure. When you schedule a colonoscopy, we recommend talking with your provider about sedation options. The things Tamara hears most from patients after their colonoscopy are:

• Is it done already?
• When are we going to start?
• That was the best sleep I have ever had.
• I was just having a dream.
• I will come back tomorrow and have another one!
• Wow, once I got here it is “easy peasy!”
• Thank you for making this a fun, great experience.

The Center for Advanced Endoscopy provides diagnostic, as well as therapeutic, care to our outpatient and inpatient population. Learn more about the Center for Advanced Endoscopy.

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