William L. Carveth, MD


Services & Procedures

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Colon & Rectal Information

The Large Intestine (Colon)

The Colon or bowel is situated in the abdomen and is the last cycle of the digestive tract. The functions of the colon are vital to the proper functioning of the body. The absorption of water-soluble nutrients as well as the synthesis of certain vitamins. The colon protects us from many diseases as it eliminates food and other body wastes. Description- The colon is one long hollow tube surrounded by many muscles. It starts at the end of the small intestine and follows through to the anus. The average size of the large intestine seems to be about five feet long and 2.5 inches in diameter.

What is a Colonoscopy?

A Colonoscopy(koh-luh-NAH-skuh-pee) allows the physician to see the entire large intestine, form the rectum to the beginning of the small intestine. This procedure is used to detect early signs of colon cancer. This procedure can also be used to determine sudden change in bowel habits and see inflamed tissues, abnormal growths, ulcers, and bleeding.

How a colonoscopy works


To begin this procedure about 1-3 days before the doctor will give you a strict liquid diet and require you to take one of several types of laxatives the night before. Once at the office you will be asked to lay on your left side on the examination table. From there you will receive some pain medication and a mild sedative. The physician will then insert a long, flexible, lighted tube through your rectum and glide it through the colon. This tube, known as a colonscope, transmits an image back to a screen allowing the physician to examine the interior lining of the colon. If the physician detects a colon polyp or some inflamed tissue he/she may use the colonscope to remove all or part by using instruments within this scope. Also, if bleeding begins to occur a laser, heater probe, electrical probe, or special medications can be induced. This procedure usually takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. After the procedure is done the patient must remain in the office for 1 to 2 hours for the sedative to wear off. It is important to remember to have someone take you home because the doctor will not allow you to drive home.

Robotic Surgery

Learn more about robotic colon surgery. [ click here ]