Has your doctor recommended a colonoscopy? This procedure is used as both a screening tool for colon cancer and as a diagnostic tool for conditions like diverticulitis.


In this safe procedure, the doctor uses a small, flexible tube with a light and miniature camera to look inside the colon. If necessary, material is collected for biopsy and potentially precancerous polyps can be removed and evaluated. A colonoscopy can also be used for surveillance after colon surgery.


Preparation for a colonoscopy begins 1-2 days before the procedure. Your doctor will prescribe a diet of clear liquids and special cleansing solutions and laxatives. Emptying the colon gives the doctor a better view.

It’s important to talk with your doctor about existing medical conditions—especially diabetes, heart disease or kidney disease—before the colonoscopy. You should also review any medications, over-the-counter drugs and supplements you take. Some substances need to be discontinued during preparation for a colonoscopy.


A colonoscopy is painless because you are sedated with intravenous medications. You will either be asleep or very relaxed. The procedure itself takes about an hour, but you need up to three hours for preparation, procedure, and recovery. You should arrange for someone to drive you home and expect to be drowsy for the rest of the day.


When you awake after the procedure, your doctor will explain the results of the exam. Jefferson Surgical Clinic will contact you with the results of any biopsies when they are available.

A colonoscopy is a safe and common procedure, but in rare occasions, injury to the colon can occur. There may also be some bleeding from polyp removal. If you experience any abdominal pain, fever, dizziness or blood in your stool in the weeks after the procedure, you should contact us right away.


A colonoscopy is the best method for detecting and diagnosing colorectal problems. It is a routine screening procedure recommended for adults 50 and over. The doctors at Jefferson Surgical Clinic provide exceptional colon care, including colonoscopies, for patients throughout the Roanoke, Virginia area.

To schedule a colonoscopy consultation with Jefferson Surgical Clinic, call (540) 283-6000.

Colon and Rectal Physicians

David P. Minichan

"It's not that we mean to, but we can take our doctors for granted. I thought it was time I really thanked you for all the times in the past and today that you have been a blessing to me."
- Marshal C.

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