Colonoscopy is an endoscopic procedure which enables visual inspection of the entire large bowel from the rectum to the cecum. The procedure is a safe and effective means of evaluating the large bowel. A long, flexible, lighted viewing tube (colonoscope) is inserted through the rectum into the colon. The scope is advanced and maneuvered while the lumen and walls of the colon are visualized by projections onto a television screen. The colonoscope has channels which allows for the passage of instruments to perform biopsies, remove polyps, or cauterize bleeding. Air, water, and suction can be applied to help provide a clearer visual field for inspection.
Compared with other imaging modalities, colonoscopy is especially useful in detecting small lesions and it allows for intervention, because biopsies can be taken and polyps removed.
I always perform a colonoscopy under conscious sedation, therefore the procedure is painless and the patient is unaware of any discomfort. There may be some abdominal bloating and discomfort for a short while after the procedure due to air insufflation during the procedure.
The possible complications of a colonoscopy are bleeding when a lesion is removed and perforation (a hole made through the wall of the colon). These complications are very rare.
Colonoscopy procedure video links:
It is very important for your colon to be clean in order for a proper examination of the colon. To achieve this, you will be given a prescription for medication that will induce diarrhea in order to flush your entire colon. You will further be required to follow a fluid diet from 13:00 the day prior to the procedure. We suggest a split dose of the bowel preparation. This means that you will take the first dose the evening before the procedure and the second dose early the morning of the procedure. A split dose regime has been shown to achieve better bowel preparation. We usually prescribe Moviprep or Picolax. An information leaflet will be given to you, and is also available on the website. Please feel free to contact us at any stage if you have any questions.
Colonoscopy bowel preparation video links: