Colonoscopy is a procedure in which a doctor examines the insides of the colon ( large intestine ) using a colonoscope. The colonoscope is a long, flexible narrow tube with light and camera on one end. This end is inserted into the rectum via the anal opening, and advanced into the large intestine all the way to the caecum ( first part of the colon )
It is the best method to diagnose/detect lesions of the colon.
Colonoscopy is usually done for diagnostic purposes and for screening of colorectal cancer. You may be advised to do it in the following cases:
We need to ‘prepare the bowel’ prior to procedure. This involves ensuring that the bowel is completely clean, devoid of any fecal residue. Once you are posted for a colonoscopy, you will be given detailed instructions about the preparation. Broadly, it involves drinking a large amount of liquid laxative.Nowadays, Colon Hydrotherapy can also be done to prepare the bowel. It is safe, effective and avoids the discomfort associated with laxative preparation.
The procedure usually takes 30-60 minutes. While you lie on the table, the tip of the colonoscope is slowly inserted through the anal opening and advanced through the rectum into the colon. Once the tip reaches the caecum ( first part of colon ), the doctor starts to withdraw it slowly and the examination now begins. The light at the tip illuminates the colon and the camera sends a video image to the monitor, enabling visualization of its lining. Depending upon the reason for doing the procedure, the doctor may:
There may be some cramping or bloating after the procedure but it settles down soon, especially after passage of gases. In cases where polyps are removed you may notice some bleeding from the anus which is usually self-limiting.
Complications are very unlikely, especially in well-trained hands. Bleeding may occur as mentioned, but is usually self-limiting. In case there is excessive bleeding, contact us immediately. Perforation ( small tear in the colon ) may occur but is extremely rare.
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