A Gastroenterologist is a physician who specializes in disorders and conditions of the gastrointestinal tract. After completing their general medical education, they train for at least three years to attain board certification in internal medicine. Then, gastroenterologists study for an additional three years specifically for conditions of the gastrointestinal tract. This extensive medical training qualifies the gastroenterologist to perform endoscopic procedures.
Colonoscopy is a procedure used to view the entire colon (large intestine). A flexible tube with a light and a camera which is about the diameter of your finger is inserted into the anus and is advanced slowly into the rectum and into the whole length of the colon. You will be asleep for this procedure and will not feel any pain. This test lets the doctor see the inside walls of the large intestine. These are the areas where precancerous growths are often located, and they are removed with cautery during your procedures. During the procedure it is possible to take tissue samples or biopsies for further testing.
Upper GI endoscopy is a procedure that uses a lighted, flexible endoscope to see inside the upper GI tract. The upper GI tract includes the esophagus, stomach and duodenum–the first part of the small intestine.
The preparation required will differ for each procedure. Please contact your doctor for detailed instructions pertaining to your specific procedure.
COLONOSCOPY & UPPER ENDOSCOPY: At Digestive Health Center, we use Propofol as our anesthetic drug of choice during a colonoscopy. This anesthetic causes you to gently fall into a deep sleep that is maintained throughout the procedure, thus you will not experience any pain or discomfort. At the end of your procedure, you will be awakened within a few minutes. Unlike other anesthetics (such as the narcotics: Demerol, Fentenyl and Versed), with Propofol you will be completely awake and totally coherent within about 15 minutes of completing your procedure and there is no prolonged drowsiness, nausea or vomiting. Side effects associated with Propofol are extremely rare and, in general, Propofol is very well tolerated
Most of our patients will receive Propofol. Propofol is a very short-acting anesthetic that is carefully administered intravenously by a board certified anesthesiologist, who also monitors your vital signs, breathing and heart parameters while you are asleep.
Yes, the majority of our patients will be asleep for all procedures except Sigmoidoscopy.
There will usually be two physicians (gastroenterologist and anesthesiologist) and a Registered Nurse.
(These procedures vary from person to person and may take more or less time than this. It is also dependent upon whether or not polyps are present).
Colonoscopy takes approximately from 20-30 minutes.
Endoscopy takes approximately from 15-25 minutes.
On average, patients are observed for 30-60 minutes following their procedure. This can take longer depending on how well the patient is recovering. After you have had something to drink, have been able to sit up, have stable vital signs, and are able to ambulate unassisted, you with your companion will be free to leave. (You cannot leave without an adult to escort you home).
You may eat and drink normally afterwards, although we recommend starting with a light meal and advancing your diet as tolerated.
Please do not plan to work on the day of your procedure. You may return to work the following day, provided that your physician has not recommended otherwise. We can provide you with a form for your employer, if needed. You may not drive or operate any machinery or dangerous equipment for 24 hours following your procedure.
Yes, if your escort is unable to register with you, we require a number where we can contact them to verify your ride home. Your escort will need to pick you up at Digestive Health Center following your procedure.
***DUE TO THE SEDATION GIVEN DURING THE PROCEDURE, WE CANNOT PERFORM YOUR PROCEDURE UNLESS YOU HAVE A RESPONSIBLE ADULT WHO CAN PICK YOU UP AT THE ENDOSCOPY CENTER AFTER YOUR PROCEDURE AND ESCORT YOU HOME. UNFORTUNATELY, IN THE INTEREST OF PATIENT SAFETY, THERE CAN BE NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS POLICY.***
Taking a cab is not recommended and you may not leave by yourself. You must have a responsible adult pick you up from Digestive Health Center and escort you home following your procedure.
*** CAB DRIVERS ARE NOT CONSIDERED “A RESPONSIBLE ADULT” BECAUSE THEY CAN AND MAY DROP YOU OFF ON THE STREET IN CASE OF AN AUTOMOTIVE MALFUNCTION OR MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE ARRANGEMENTS TO HAVE A RESPONSIBLE ADULT PICK YOU UP AND TAKE YOU HOME AFTER YOUR PROCEDURE. WE CANNOT PERFORM YOUR PROCEDURE UNELSS YOU HAVE A RESPONSIBLE ADULT WHO CAN PICK YOU UP AT THE ENDOSCOPY CENTER AFTER YOUR PROCEDURE AND ESCORT YOU HOME. UNFORTUNATELY, IN THE INTEREST OF PATIENT SAFETY, THERE CAN BE NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS POLICY.***
We will explain your procedure findings and give you pictures before you leave to go home. However, if you have had any biopsies done, it will take several days before the results are ready. You will obtain those results by mail within 10 to 14 days following your procedure. However, if there are critical biopsy results, then your physician will call you and/or your primary physician within 3 days.
If you are a current patient or have health concerns that you wish to discuss, it is best to call us at (805) 492-4800.
Please note: This message form is not intended as a tool for reporting a medical emergency or medical problem. It will not go to a physician and is only monitored during normal business hours. If you have critical or timely information, please contact a physician directly. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911.