Procedure FAQs


One week before your procedure, read through your doctors instructions very carefully!
Some of your medications (such as blood thinners) may need to be stopped for a few days before your procedure. At the time your procedure is scheduled, we will  give you specific instructions about when and how to manage these changes – you would also want to confirm these with the  the prescribing doctor.  If you have questions, please call us (864-7483).

What about my regular medications?
If you are on insulin or other medications for diabetes, and/or pain medications, also please CHECK with your REGULAR physician for specific instructions. Otherwise, take your regular meds and inhalers.

Day before and the Day of Your Procedure

Be sure to carefully follow the instructions related to eating and drinking before your
procedure. If you do not follow the instructions, your test may be delayed or rescheduled.

Should I take my regular medicine?
Yes, take your regular medications with a sip of water unless your doctor tells you something different.

Do I need to stop at Registration?
Yes. You need to stop at Registration 1 hour before your procedure, even if you are pre-registered. It is located on Level 3 of the Ambulatory Care Center of the University of Vermont Medical Center. You will then be directed to the Endoscopy Suite, located on West Pavilion, Level 4.

What should I bring with me?
The Endoscopy Suite can be chilly. Both you and your driver should bring a sweater in case you get cold. If you use inhalers, bring them with you.

What about jewelry?
For safety during the procedure, all jewelry should be removed before you
come to the hospital. This includes earrings, rings, necklaces and any body jewelry.
What will happen when I get to the Endoscopy Suite?

A nurse will ask you questions and take your blood pressure, pulse, and temperature. An IV line will be place so you can get fluid and drugs during your procedure. Waiting time may vary from 30 – 60 minutes, depending on your needs and any delays.

How long does the procedure take?
The total time you will be in the Endoscopy Suite will be 2 – 3 hours. You must have a responsible adult driver who will be there for discharge instructions and to drive you home.
The test cannot be done if you are not accompanied by a responsible adult driver. Taking a bus or taxi alone is not considered to be safe.

How long is the recovery time? The recovery time is usually 30 – 45 minutes.

During Your Procedure

When will I go to the procedure room and who will be with me?

Once the doctor is ready, you will be taken to the procedure room. Your doctor and nurse will be with you. A medical student, resident or fellow may also be present. No family or friends will be allowed in the procedure room.

What kind of medicine will I receive?

After you arrive in the procedure room and have talked to the doctor, you will be given medication to make you sleepy. The goal is to make you comfortable. Most patients remember little or nothing of the procedure because of these medications.

How long does the procedure last?
The procedure usually lasts 20 – 60 minutes.

After Your Procedure

May I have something to drink immediately after the procedure?
You might be able to have some ice chips (no water or fluids) in the recovery a rea. However, it is preferable that you wait one and one – half hours after the procedure before taking anything by mouth.

Can I drive? Can I go back to work?
YOU CANNOT DRIVE HOME, nor drive the rest of the day.
YOU CANNOT WORK the rest of the day.

After Returning Home

How soon can I eat after the procedure?
One and one-half hour after your procedure, you may have water. If that goes well, you may have a light meal and then go back to your regular diet.

Will I need pain medicine after I am discharged?

No. It is normal to have mild cramps and bloating over the next 24 hours but pain medicine should not be needed after your procedure.

How soon can I start taking my regular medications?
Start taking you regular medications when you are tolerating fluids and regular food unless your doctor says not to.

How and when do I get results of biopsies?
If you had biopsies taken, you will receive a call or a letter in the mail in 2 to 4 weeks with the results. If you have not received the results in 4 weeks, call your doctor’s office to ask for them.

What if I have questions after I get home?
When time permits, the endoscopy nurses will try to contact you by phone after you arrive home to check on how you are feeling and answer questions. If you are concerned about anything, do not wait for a nurse to call you. Call the number on your discharge instructions.

Colonoscopy Tips

  • Before you start the prep, use Vaseline or hemorrhoid cream to protect the skin on your bottom.
  • Use baby wipes or hemorrhoid wipes to decrease irritation.
  • Try drinking the laxative through a straw or suck on a popsicle before and after drinking the laxative.
  • Drink at least 8 ounces of clear liquids every hour while awake.
  • The laxative prep will cause multiple bowel movements and often works within 30 minutes, but may not start working for over 3 hours. You will need to be close to a bathroom.
  • After a colonoscopy, you might have some cramping due to air in your stomach or colon.
    Don’t be bashful about passing air; you will feel better if you do so.
  • It is normal not to have a bowel movement for a day or two after a colonoscopy. But if you experience severe abdominal pain or a temperature above 101 degrees, please call your doctor immediately.
  • If you had biopsies taken or a polyp removed, you may pass a small amount of blood from your rectum. Notify your doctor immediately if you start to pass large amounts of blood (more than ½ cup) or if blood passes continually.