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Video Colonoscopy

Nancy Kemeny, MD: A virtual colonoscopy is doing a colonoscopy with an x-ray machine. Instead of a physician, a gastroenterologist using an instrument to go up into a colon, there’s no instrument involved, you’re having an x-ray.

Are you awake during a colonoscopy? You may be awake during the test and may even be able to speak. You will probably not remember anything. You lie on your left side with your knees drawn up toward your chest. The scope is gently inserted through the anus.

The long and winding female colon. A colonoscopy works like this: A patient lies on their side while a gastroenterologist inserts a colonoscope — essentially a camera on the end of a long, flexible tube — into their anus. From there, the doctor can use the scope to navigate through the entire large intestine.

Is a sedation-free colonoscopy painful or uncomfortable? Most patients report little or no discomfort during the procedure. You can request sedation during the procedure if you change your mind and feel you need it, although it has been my experience that this seldom occurs.