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Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy and endoscopy patient
Colonoscopy and endoscopy patient

Why choose Ochsner Health for your colonoscopy care?

When you choose Ochsner for your colonoscopy, you will receive outstanding care from leading gastrointestinal specialists in Louisiana and Mississippi. From the first phone call with our team, you will work with experts in all aspects of the colonoscopy procedure, from pre-colonoscopy preparation to recovery. Ochsner performs AI-assisted colonoscopies, bolstering polyp detection accuracy and enabling early identification of potential precursors to colorectal cancer. This cutting-edge technology enhances patient outcomes by minimizing the risk of overlooking abnormalities during the screening process and is available in the greater New Orleans area.

Our skilled team includes anesthetists, nurses, technologists and board-certified gastroenterologists. We work closely with Ochsner primary care, gastroenterology and oncology specialists to ensure excellent care coordination.

A colonoscopy is a medical procedure used to diagnose, prevent or screen for health conditions that affect the lower part of the gastrointestinal tract. The procedure lasts approximately 30 to 60 minutes.

A colonoscopy is one type of an endoscopic procedure. During the procedure, a doctor uses a long, thin tool with a camera called a colonoscope to look inside the colon and rectum. The colon is the long part of the large intestine. The doctor may also use the colonoscope to view the end of the small intestine where it joins the large intestine. Ochsner performs AI-assisted colonoscopies, bolstering polyp detection accuracy and enabling early identification of potential precursors to colorectal cancer.

With the colonoscope, the doctor can look for:

  • Colon polyps, typically harmless growths that can develop into cancer

  • Irritation in the colon or rectum

  • Signs of cancer

  • Swelling

  • Ulcers

If colon polyps are found, the doctor typically will remove the polyps. The doctor may also take a small tissue sample, or biopsy. Removed polyps and tissue samples are sent to a lab to test for cancer or other health conditions.

To clean out your colon and rectum, you will be required to use bowel prep, or prep, before your colonoscopy. There are several different types of prep. They may come in liquid, pill or powder form. Your doctor will give you specific instructions for the kind of prep prescribed for you.

No matter which prep you are given, completing all the prep is essential. Follow these tips to help make the prep process easier.

A clear liquid diet may also be required 1 to 3 days before the colonoscopy. Typically, this includes eating or drinking:

  • Apple or white grape juice

  • Broth

  • Coffee or tea without added cream or milk

  • Gelatin without red or purple dye

  • Sports drinks without red or purple dye

  • Water

If you take any prescription or over-the-counter medications or supplements, talk with your doctor about when to take them while preparing for your colonoscopy.

A few days before your colonoscopy, you will get a call from a nurse who will review your prep instructions and answer any questions about the procedure.

Once you arrive for your appointment, you will change into a hospital gown and be given anesthesia or sedatives. These put you to sleep so you will not feel anything during the colonoscopy. The type of anesthesia or sedative you receive is based on your personal medical history.

After the colonoscopy, plan to stay at the hospital or outpatient center for an hour or two while the anesthesia or sedative wears off. Once you are fully awake, your care team will give you instructions to continue your recovery at home.

Bring someone with you who can drive you home after the colonoscopy. You cannot drive for 24 hours afterward because of the anesthesia or sedatives used during the procedure. Most people are back to their usual routine after 24 hours.

Colonoscopies are offered at several convenient locations throughout Louisiana and in Mississippi. Find a location near you.

A colonoscopy is a colorectal cancer screening. Additionally, this procedure may help diagnose or rule out several gastrointestinal conditions, including colorectal cancer, Crohn’s disease, gastrointestinal bleeding and ulcerative colitis.

Finding and removing colon polyps during a colonoscopy can also help prevent colorectal cancer before it starts.

FAQs

Colonoscopies to screen for colorectal cancer are recommended for everyone starting at age 45. If you are at high risk for colorectal cancer, talk with your doctor about when to schedule your first colonoscopy.

Regular colonoscopies are recommended for people between the ages of 45 and 75. However, the length of time between colonoscopies depends on the results of your first colonoscopy. Many people may not need another colonoscopy for 10 years. Others may need a follow-up colonoscopy much sooner.

No, colonoscopies are not painful. During the colonoscopy, you will be asleep and not feel anything due to the anesthesia. After the colonoscopy, it is normal to feel bloating and mild abdominal cramping or soreness for about an hour after the procedure.

Several risk factors make someone more likely to develop colorectal cancer. Still, many people with risk factors do not develop cancer. Similarly, people with no risk factors can still develop colorectal cancer.

Risk factors for colorectal cancer include:

  • A family history of colorectal cancer or polyps

  • A personal history of inflammatory bowel disease

  • Alcohol use

  • Being age 50 or older

  • Being overweight or obese

  • Certain inherited syndromes, such as familial adenomatous polyposis or Lynch syndrome

  • Eating a diet high in red meat or processed meat

  • Having a personal history of colorectal cancer or polyps

  • Having Type 2 diabetes

  • Not being physically active

  • Smoking

Early-stage colorectal cancer often does not have any symptoms. When colorectal cancer does cause symptoms, it may be mistaken for another health condition. This is why screening for colorectal cancer is essential.

Symptoms of colorectal cancer may include:

  • A change in bowel habits that does not return to your usual within a few days

  • Abdominal cramping or pain

  • Black or very dark brown stool, a sign of blood in the stool

  • Bright red bleeding from the anus

  • Fatigue

  • Still feeling like you need to have a bowel movement after a bowel movement

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Weakness

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Map of Ochsner-affiliated facilities that provide services related to Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy Locations

Ochsner American Legion Hospital
1634 Elton Road
Jennings, LA 70546
  • : 8:09 p.m.-8:09 p.m.
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner University Hospital & Clinics
2390 West Congress St.
Lafayette, LA 70506
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner Lafayette General Surgical Hospital
1000 West Pinhook Road
Lafayette, LA 70503
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner Acadia General Hospital
1305 Crowley Rayne Highway
Crowley, LA 70526
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner St. Martin Hospital
210 Champagne Blvd.
Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner Abrom Kaplan Memorial Hospital
1310 West 7th St.
Kaplan, LA 70548
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center
1214 Coolidge St.
Lafayette, LA 70503
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner St. Mary
1125 Marguerite St.
Morgan City, LA 70380
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner Medical Center - Hancock
149 Drinkwater Blvd.
Bay St. Louis, MS 39520
  • Open 24/7
St. Charles Parish Hospital
1057 Paul Maillard Road
Luling, LA 70070
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner Medical Center - Baton Rouge
17000 Medical Center Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70816
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner St. Anne Hospital
4608 Highway 1
Raceland, LA 70394
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner Medical Center - Kenner
180 West Esplanade Ave.
Kenner, LA 70065
  • Monday – Friday: 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.