Colonoscopy as a procedure involves the insertion of a long and flexible tube attached to a camera (colonoscope), into the rectum. The tiny camera allows the doctor to see inside the colon and to detect any abnormalities. Also, if necessary, tissue samples of the colon (biopsy) can be taken during the procedure for analysis.
Why you need a Colonoscopy?
Some of the principal reasons for having a colonoscopy include:
- Intestinal signs and symptoms like persistent abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, chronic constipation or chronic diarrhoea.
- Personal or family history of colorectal cancer or polyps.
- Chronic anemia.
- Personal or family history of intestinal inflammatory disease, like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
- Positive stool test for blood or inflammation.
- Unexplained weight loss.
What does a Colonoscopy involve?
Before the Procedure
After the doctor explains the reasons and the steps of your procedure, you will be asked to take a cleansing bowel formula (a laxative) at home the day before.
During the Procedure
The colonoscopy procedure is done in an endoscopy room. You may opt for sedative anesthesia in order to avoid any pain or discomfort. The doctor will ask you to lay on your side and with your knees drawn toward your chest in the bed. The colonoscope is now inserted in the rectum. The camera allows the doctor to see any abnormality in your colon and take a tissue sample or remove it completely if possible. The entire procedure usually takes around 30 minutes.
After the Procedure
Usually, the procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and you can go home after fully recovering from the sedation. Coming back to work will be possible the next day after the procedure.
Colonoscopy is a safe procedure with minimal complications and risk rate.