Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to prepare for the test?
Yes. The bowels must be “cleaned out” prior to the
examination. For detailed instructions, click here.
For a printable version, click here.
Does the test hurt?
You will be comfortable during the procedure. You are sedated prior
to the test and most patients sleep through the procedure.
Do I need time off work?
Yes. The day prior to your procedure you will need to prepare your
bowel and you will spend a lot of time in the washroom. You may
need to take this day off work. The day of your procedure you will
be sedated and you will need to take this day off work. Your OCC
doctor will be happy to provide you with a note for your employer.
Are there any risks with the test?
Colonoscopy is a very safe procedure but as with any invasive
test, there is some risk. A perforation or “hole” in the bowel is
made in less than 1 in 3000 cases. If this occurs, surgery may
be required to repair the bowel. The likelihood of detecting a large
colon polyp or a colon cancer is much higher than the chance
of a perforation.
How long is the test?
The procedure itself last 15 – 20 minutes. You need to arrive
30 minutes before the procedure to register, and you will be
monitored for 30 minutes after the procedure while the sedation
Can I drive?
No. You will need to arrange for a ride home.