What to Expect During a Colonoscopy

While a colonoscopy may not be the most pleasant health screening you’ll ever have, it is one of the best tools to diagnose colorectal cancer. Your doctor can remove polyps, if you have any, during the same procedure. Here’s what you can expect.


You’ll take laxatives the night before your colonoscopy. While the prep may be uncomfortable, be sure to follow the instructions so that the procedure is a success.

Also, arrange for a family member or friend to give you a ride home after the test because you won’t be able to drive for 24 hours.


Gastroenterologists perform colonoscopies in the CRH Endoscopy Center.

Colonoscopies are done under conscious sedation. This means you’ll receive a pain reliever and a sedative beforehand. You’ll be able to communicate during the colonoscopy, but the medicine keeps you relaxed and reduces pain and discomfort. You may also not remember everything even though you are not completely asleep.

The procedure takes about 30 to 60 minutes. You’ll lie on your side on a table, and your doctor will insert a colonoscope into your rectum and guide it into your colon. The colonoscope has a camera that sends a video of your bowel to a monitor.

If your doctor finds any polyps during the procedure, he or she may remove them and send them to a lab for testing. If your doctor sees any abnormalities, he or she may remove small pieces of tissue and send them to a pathologist for examination.


You may experience abdominal cramping or bloating for about an hour after the procedure. If your doctor performed a biopsy, you may have some light bleeding. Follow all your doctor’s instructions on how to care for yourself after having a colonoscopy. You should feel normal by the next day.


Your doctor will share the results with you after your colonoscopy. If you had a biopsy, it may take at least a few days to receive the results. If everything looks good, you will likely not need another colonoscopy for 10 years.

If you are 50 or older, schedule your screening colonoscopy with us online.

View All Success Stories
CRH banner

CRH News

  • VIDEO: NexusPark Construction Timelapse

    Nov 28, 2023, 19:07 PM by Laker, J.
    Watch three angles of the ongoing construction of NexusPark through November, 2023.
    Full story
  • Holiday hours for CRH-affiliated services

    Nov 15, 2023, 19:09 PM by Andrew Laker
    Office hours for CRH-affiliated practices and service lines for the 2023/2024 holiday season.
    Full story
  • Healthy Communities releases gun safety statement

    Nov 1, 2023, 17:35 PM by User Not Found
    Columbus Regional Health Healthy Communities Council recognizes unintentional and intentional gun deaths and injuries as a public health crisis.
    Full story
  • CRH Offering Two Important Health Screening Opportunities

    Oct 12, 2023, 16:03 PM by DeClue, A.
    On Oct. 28, Columbus Regional Health Breast Health Services will offer a free clinical breast screening event for those whose insurance does not cover breast screenings. Also, throughout November, the CRH Lung Care Team is offering low-dose lung scans to anyone who is eligible and hasn’t had a lung scan before.
    Full story
  • OB/GYN Associates prepares for move to NexusPark

    Oct 11, 2023, 17:54 PM by DeClue, A.
    Columbus Regional Health is pleased to announce the first phase of the relocation process for those practices and services moving into the health system’s dedicated space in NexusPark. In this first phase, OB/GYN Associates will relocate to NexusPark and open to patients on Oct. 23, 2023.
    Full story
  • Workplace Violence Prevention Efforts at CRH Supported By New Law

    Sep 13, 2023, 19:33 PM by Newton, A.
    The safety of Columbus Regional Health's workforce is our priority. The formation of the Columbus Regional Hospital Police Department in 2020 has allowed us to have immediate response from law enforcement for workforce members. As part of their work, our Workplace Violence Prevention Committee reviews workplace violence incidents and looks at how to incorporate various scenarios in our training and education for staff.
    Full story