• A lower GI endoscopy, or colonoscopy is a test to look inside or at the 'mucosa' of your colon.

  • The main tool used to look inside the colon is a colonoscope which is a long, thin , flexible tube with a tiny camera and a light on the end. 

  • The colonoscope is long enough to look at all of the large bowel (4-5 ft) and even the lower part of the small intestine, called the ileum. 

  • A colonoscopy is a safe and effective way to look for GI health issues and sometimes even treat those health issues.

  • There are a number of ways to do this test: (1) without sedation, (2) with conscious sedation (NOT an anesthetic), meaning you are awake and aware but there is an amnestic quality to the medications used whereby you might not remember anything, (3) with pain medication only, thus reduces discomfort but you remain conscious and remember the experience.

  • Every time you have this procedure, it can be a different experience. As we age, consume alcohol or marijuana, change our medication list, have surgeries of the abdomen that can cause scarring, the procedure can become more difficult due to an inability of patients to respond to sedation and/or technical issues involving the physician and the use of the colonoscope.