Colorectal cancer is largely preventable through routine screening and surveillance, including locating and removing adenomatous polyps before they can become cancerous. For people 45 to 50 years and older, colon cancer screenings should be a routine part of healthcare. Those at higher risk for colon cancer may start screening at an earlier age.

Our gastroenterologists work closely with the Risk Assessment team to prevent cancer in patients with risk factors.  When conditions make a standard colonoscopy risky, Fox Chase Diagnostic Imaging can step in with CT Colonography, a new way to examine the colon without requiring an anesthetic.

What to Expect

Patients getting a colonoscopy will be sedated during the procedure, in order to make it more comfortable. You will not need to be admitted to the hospital. Colonoscopy procedures are done in an outpatient setting and typically only take 30 minutes to an hour. Patients are in and out the same day.

Preparing for a Colonoscopy

When preparing for a colonoscopy, it is most important that your colon is clean, in order for a physician to complete the procedure properly. This involves taking a laxative solution the day before your colonoscopy is scheduled.

Please read your instruction sheet carefully for more detailed steps to prepare.

Two Days Before

A member of the clinical staff in the Endoscopy Unit will call you to review your appointment date and time, preparation and your medical history, including a current list of medications.

Day Before

You will need to drink half of the laxative solution, the day before the procedure, unless otherwise instructed. You will drink the other half the day of the procedure. If you feel full, or are experiencing nausea, or abdominal pain, wait up to 20 minutes before drinking the next glass.

  • Breakfast and Lunch: You can have low-residue meals.
  • Dinner before 7 pm. You may have clear liquids only. 
  • After 7 pm. Only drink clear liquids until bedtime.

Make arrangements for someone to drive you home, or accompany you on public transportation, following your procedure the next day. During the procedure, you will be sedated by medications that slow your reaction time, and you will be unable to drive yourself home, or take public transportation by yourself. Your procedure may be cancelled if you do not make these arrangements ahead of time.

The Day Of

Do not eat or drink anything – not even water – within 4 hours of your procedure time, indicated on your preparation instruction sheet. You may take your heart, blood pressure, breathing, or seizure medication with a small sip of water. Please bring all required X-rays with you to the Minor Procedure Unit. Please do not bring valuables to the hospital. You will have a locker for your belongings.

You will then meet with a member of the anesthesia team, as well as with a member of your procedural team, and the procedure will begin.