Crohn’s Disease ‘Scope Series’: Colonoscopies and Endoscopies

Crohn’s Disease ‘Scope Series’: Colonoscopies and Endoscopies
Editor's note: This is the first in a series of columns by Mary Horsley about IBD-related procedures. For what I have been referring to as my "Scope Series," I would like to discuss some procedures with which Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis patients are all too familiar. As mentioned in a previous article, Crohn's Disease: Journeying Toward a Diagnosis, after IBD patients meet with their physician and gastroenterologist, or GI doctor, patients likely will go through a procedure or two. Sometimes patients will undergo these before and after their diagnosis, and knowing what to expect can help the first-timers. Procedures, like these scopes, help not only to differentiate and diagnose bowel diseases and problems for IBD patients, but they also help to check for disease maintenance or progression, check for blockages or narrowing, and help find inflammation or possible remission. Colonoscopies and endoscopies Often, the first procedure ordered for a patient is a colonoscopy or upper endoscopy; sometimes they are done at the same time. I have gone through three colonoscopies and two endoscopies, as sometimes more than one is needed. These are done under general anesthesia, or conscious sedation, in my experience with the VA (U.S. Veterans Health Administration), to help avoid any discomfort or patient embarrassment. Fasting is usually required for these scopes, with a bowel prep to drink the night before. The prep is used to help clean your insides for better viewing, around 64 ounces of a thick liquid solution. In my experience, I have
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