Colonoscopy is a medical examination of the large bowel and part of the small bowel using a flexible telescope called a colonoscope. Attached to this flexible telescope is a small camera that transmits images via lenses and fibre optic cables that connect to a monitor. This procedure is performed in the hospital as a day procedure under sedation given by our anaesthetists.
Some of the indications for a colonoscopy includes:
- Bleeding from the rectum
- Blood or mucous in the stool
- Unexplained abdominal pain and weight loss
- Altered bowel habits (excessive or unexplained bowel movements or recent constipation)
- Screening for bowel cancer
Most colonoscopies take approximately 15-30 minutes. Bowel preparation starting two days before the procedure with light meals and specially prescribed laxative is imperative to obtain clear views. After being given sedation the camera is gently manoeuvred to the point where the large and small intestines meet and slowly withdrawn by the surgeon, allowing the surgeon to view the colon lining on the monitor. This is a very safe procedure with less than 1% chance of major complications such as perforation or bleeding.
Any abnormalities viewed can be further investigated by taking samples for further analysis. Polyps are removed and biopsies are sent for testing to rule out cancerous growths.
Seeking an appropriate colonoscopy performing doctor with the relevant diagnostic experience is highly recommended. As a trusted and experienced GESA accredited endoscopist Mr Siva Gounder performs these types of procedures regularly to the highest standards.
Due to the mild sedatives taken prior to the procedure, patients should not drive themselves home.