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Did any of the following injuries occur?
Kidney Failure
Acute Renal Failure
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Colonoscopy: What to Expect

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A colonoscopy is a medical procedure that allows a physician to see inside a patient’s colon and rectum.

The test is performed to detect inflammation, ulcers, polyps, cancer or other abnormalities of the bowel. The colon is end portion of the bowel, also called the large intestine. The colon ends in the rectum, a short section of intestine that ends at the anus.

Because a colonoscopy requires that the large intestine be empty, a patient will have to complete what doctors refer to as “bowel prep”. For one to three days prior to the procedure, the patient will follow a clear liquid diet. This allows time for solid fecal matter to move through the intestinal tract. The day before the test, the patient will be asked to ingest a substance with laxative properties to ensure that the entire bowel is evacuated. This laxative may be an oral sodium phosphate laxative such as Visicol or OsmoPrep. Prior to December 2008, Fleet Phospho-soda products were commonly used.

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Patients with preexisting conditions, including kidney damage, should inform their physician prior to taking the laxative medication. Patients taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications or diuretics should also ensure that the health care provider is informed of this fact as these medications may predispose the patient to acute phosphate nephropathy after ingesting the oral sodium phosphate laxative.

The colonoscopic exam is generally performed in a hospital or outpatient center. A sedative is given and the patient is placed on his or her left side on the examination table. The instrument used for the exam is called a colonoscope. A colonoscope is a long, flexible tube with a light on the end. The scope contains a camera that sends video images to a computer screen so that the physician can visualize the interior of the colon and rectum. The scope inflates the bowel so that the doctor can see all areas clearly.

During the colonoscopy, a physician can take small tissue samples (biopsy) to check for cancerous cells. Polyps may also be removed at this time for testing to ensure that there is no abnormal cells activity. After the procedure, the patient will be allowed to recover from sedation before leaving. Results are usually available within a week of the procedure.

Patients with lethargy, drowsiness, overall ill feelings, decreased urination, or swelling of the feet, ankles and legs, may be suffering from acute phosphate nephropathy following oral sodium phosphate use. If any of the symptoms are noted, the patient should contact a healthcare professional immediately.

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Patients diagnosed with acute phosphate nephropathy or kidney damage following ingestion of oral sodium phosphate should seek legal advice concerning their right to compensation.

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