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At UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, we believe parents and guardians can contribute to the success of this test and we invite you to participate. Please read the following information to learn about the test and how you can help.
A colonoscopy (cole-en-AH-sco-pee) is a test that allows your doctors to see the inside of the lower part of the rectum, colon and lower end of the small intestine.
Most colonoscopies are done while your child is under general anesthesia, meaning that they are sound asleep during the test.
Occasionally, the colonoscopy may be done while your child is under sedation, meaning that your child will be given medication to make him or her very drowsy and relaxed during the test. When sedation has been used, your child may not even remember having had the test. If your child receives sedation, the doctor doing your child’s test will give the sedation medication. Your child’s doctor will decide if your child should have general anesthesia or sedation.
Your doctor will give colon prep instructions, specific for your child, at the time the colonoscopy is recommended. Please read these instructions closely. The success of this test to diagnose your child's condition depends on the complete clean-out of your child's colon.
Additionally, you will be contacted by a GI nurse the week before your scheduled procedure to review and clarify these instructions with you.
On the day before your appointment, you will receive a phone call informing you when to arrive at the hospital for your child's procedure by a Same Day Surgery nurse. These calls are made in the afternoon and evening hours. If you are not at home, a message can be left on an answering machine with these instructions.
The nurse will instruct you on when your child must stop taking anything by mouth, and which medications, if any, are allowed the morning of your child's procedure.
Please have a pen and paper ready to write down these instructions, as it is very important that you understand and follow all directions to avoid cancellation or delay of your child's test.
If your child is on an antibiotic, or becomes ill with a fever or cough within three days of the scheduled test, please call us at 412-692-5944. In some cases, the test may need to be rescheduled.
What is allowed on a clear liquid diet:
Beverages: Apple, grape, cranberry, cranapple juices; fruit-flavored drinks; sports drinks, Gatorade®, PowerAde®, clear tea, carbonated drinks (soda or pop)
Desserts: Popsicles® or frozen fruit-flavored bars with no pulp, plain Jello®, water ices
Soups: Fat-free broth, fat-free bouillon
Other: Salt, sugar, jelly, honey, plain hard sugar candy in small amounts
Do not be alarmed if your child has diarrhea. Diarrhea is normal with a clear liquid diet and is necessary to clean out the bowels in order for your child’s doctor to see the colon clearly during the test.
Once your child has been registered for the test, a member of the anesthesia staff will meet with you to take your child’s vital signs, weight and medical history. As the parent or legal guardian, you will be asked to sign a consent form before the anesthesia is given.
Once your child has been registered for the test, a nurse will meet with you to take your child’s vital signs, weight and medical history. As the parent or legal guardian, you will be asked to sign a consent form before the anesthesia is given.
Your child’s colonoscopy will be scheduled at either UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh in Lawrenceville, Children's South in Bethel Park, or Children’s North in Wexford. Your doctor will decide which facility is best for your child’s procedure.
We welcome your help and support during this test. One of the most important roles of a parent and/or guardian is to help your child stay calm and relaxed before and after the procedure. The easiest way to do this is for you to stay calm.
If your child has any special needs or health issues you feel the doctor performing the test needs to know about, please call the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh before the test at 412-692-5944. It is important to notify us in advance about any special needs.
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
With myCHP, you can request appointments, review test results, and more.
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