The Medical Procedures Center, P.C.

"We treat people, not just problems."

John L. Pfenninger, M.D.


4800 N. Saginaw Road, Midland Michigan 48640


(989) 631-4545

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There are many new ways that physicians can assist patients undergoing colonoscopy examination. In the past, these examinations were performed in a hospital setting. Anesthesia was always performed by placing a needle in the patient’s arm, and an intravenous medication was given to make patients sleepy and more comfortable.

We now know that these examinations can generally be safely performed in the office setting. At The Medical Procedures Centers, we have modern monitoring equipment for evaluating a patient’s heart, breathing, and blood oxygen levels during the procedure. The cost savings of performing this examination in the office can be great.

Normally you should not eat or drink anything the day of the procedure. You should take your routine medications with water first thing in the morning. If your procedure is scheduled in the afternoon, we prefer that you drink some liquids early that morning. Then, only take your Halcion® tablets if needed as described below.

The risk of a colonoscopy examination is influenced by the method of anesthesia chosen. Intravenous medications can carry a slightly higher risk of heart or lung complications. They can also be the best method to make the examination comfortable. We can provide intravenous medications for our patients, but can also offer alternate methods for making the examination comfortable for you. Up to 25 or 30% patients can have a full colonoscopic examination without any anesthesia. Discuss with your doctor what may be the best method of anesthesia for you.

Some patients may prefer oral medications. This method of sedation is safe, effective, and often much cheaper for patients. Patients should take two 0.25 mg triazolam (Halcion®) tablets one hour before the scheduled procedure. Please take these tablets with a small amount of water. This medication is a benzodiazepine, the same type that is given intravenously. The medication is safe, and helps patients to relax for the procedure.

Just before the procedure the nurse will spray your nose with a medication called butorphanol (Stadol®). Some women received Stadol® during labor. This medication relieves pain and makes patients sleepy for the procedure. It is safe and effective, and administration in the nose is less uncomfortable than having an injection or IV placed. Of course, you can always choose to have intravenous sedation, which would include starting and IV for sedative and pain reliever. Whether you choose the oral or IV routes, you will be clinically monitored at all times.

Someone must drive you to and from the office if sedating medication of any form is used for the procedure. When you arrive for your procedure, immediately tell our staff if you have eaten anything, and if you have taken your medication. If you choose the oral/nasal medication and find you need extra medication during the procedure, we can give you an injection in your arm or place a needle into your veins. However, most patients do very well with just the oral medication and nasal spray.

We look forward to serving you, and in assisting you to make the procedure as comfortable and as safe as possible. If you experience any problems after the procedure like prolonged pain, bleeding, fever, vomiting, or anything else, please call us.