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Colonoscopy Specialist

Colon and Rectal Clinic of Tampa Bay

Lourdes T Santiago , MD

Colorectal Surgery & General Surgery located in Clearwater, FL

When your health care provider is unable to diagnose the cause of your gastrointestinal symptoms, you may need a colonoscopy. This diagnostic procedure evaluates the lower portion of your digestive tract to look for signs of disease. At the Colon and Rectal Clinic of Tampa Bay, in Clearwater, Florida, Lourdes Santiago, MD, offers colonoscopy procedures to diagnose and treat conditions that affect the large intestine. To schedule your colonoscopy, call the office or book an appointment online today.

Colonoscopy Q&A

What is a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure that evaluates the inner lining of your large intestine without the need for surgery. Instead, Dr. Santiago uses a special tool known as a colonoscope. The colonoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera.

Dr. Santiago inserts the colonoscope into your anus and uses it to closely evaluate the lining of your large intestine, removing or taking samples of suspicious tissue as needed.

Why would I need a colonoscopy?

Dr. Santiago or your primary provider explains in full detail why you need a colonoscopy. You may benefit from the diagnostic procedure to determine the underlying cause of your abdominal pain, bloody stools, or change in bowel habits.

Dr. Santiago may recommend a colonoscopy to diagnose gastrointestinal conditions such as:

  • Diverticulosis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) 
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Colon polyps
  • Colon cancer

The colonoscopy is the gold standard screening test for colon cancer. 

How do I prepare for a colonoscopy?

Dr. Santiago provides you with specific instructions on how to prepare for your colonoscopy. 

She may recommend you follow a clear liquid diet the day before your procedure and take a laxative to clear out the colon. Dr. Santiago also requests that you stop eating and drinking at a set time before your colonoscopy.

Your bowel prep prior to your colonoscopy is an essential part of the test. Clearing out all the stool and debris ensures Dr. Santiago can completely evaluate the lining of your large intestine.

What happens during a colonoscopy?

The colonoscopy is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure. During the test, Dr. Santiago may first give you medication to ease anxiety and pain.

You lie on the exam table on your side, and Dr. Santiago gently inserts the scope into your anus and to your colon. She carefully and expertly advances the scope through the large intestine, examining the tissue along the way.

Dr. Santiago may remove polyps or take a biopsy of any suspicious tissue during your colonoscopy.

In most cases, the test takes less than an hour.

What happens after a colonoscopy?

After your colonoscopy, Dr. Santiago sends you to the recovery area and reviews her findings with you. You must arrange to have someone drive you home and plan to take the rest of the day off.

For more information about the colonoscopy, call the Colon and Rectal Clinic of Tampa Bay or schedule an appointment online today.