Patient Information

We want you to be prepared for your procedure. Please read through the guidelines below. Keep in mind they are general guidelines only – always talk to your doctor if you have any questions about your procedure.

Preparing for a colonoscopy or endoscopy procedure:

Am I going to be awake for the procedure? 

During the procedure you will experience moderate sedation. Moderate sedation is a medically controlled state of depressed consciousness which retains a patient's ability to maintain a patent airway independently and continuously and to respond appropriately to physical stimulation and verbal commands. You will be comfortably sedated but still able to respond to stimulus. 

The drugs, doses and techniques used are not intended to produce a total loss of consciousness. Tell your doctor if you have any of the following with sedation or anesthesia: prolonged recovery, aspiration, difficulty breathing, decreased blood pressure, use of pain medication, confusion, vomiting, nausea.  

How long does the procedure take? 

  • Colonoscopy can take up to one hour, but usually takes 30-45 minutes 
  • Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) can take up to one hour but usually takes 15-30 minutes 
  • ERCP takes 40-60 minutes on average 
  • Bronchoscopy takes 30-60 minutes on average 

Talk to your doctor about your specific procedure.

Can I eat after the procedure? 

You may resume your regular diet as soon as you leave the recovery area following a colonoscopy. You must wait one to two hours, or as directed, to eat or drink following an EDG, ERCP or a bronchoscopy.

When can I go home? 

Following all procedures, you will be monitored in the recovery room for a minimum of 45 minutes. You will normally be allowed to go home following this recovery time. A responsible adult must be available to drive you home. 

Can I drive after the procedure? 

The pain medication given during your procedure may alter your reflexes. For this reason you are instructed not to drive for 24 hours after your procedure. 

Can I go to work after the procedure? 

No. Hospital policy requires someone to remain with you at home for 24 hours following the procedure. 

What kind of preparations are required? 

You may not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your procedure. There may be additional doctor’s orders you need to follow as well. To reduce bacteria on your skin and decrease your chances of getting an infection, bathe or shower in an antibacterial soap of your choice the day of your procedure and do not apply lotion, perfume, cologne or hair care products.

When will I get the results? 

Your doctor will discuss the results of your procedure with you once you have recovered from the sedation, or your doctor may call you at home. If biopsies or specimens are taken, it may take several days for your doctor to receive the results. You will receive written discharge instructions upon leaving the hospital. 

How do I schedule a procedure? 

Contact your primary care physician and they will refer you to a specialist who will schedule your procedure and inform you of the preparations needed.