Colonoscopy is the visual examination of the inner lining of the entire large intestine for abnormalities. It is done by inserting a thin flexible tube and slowly advancing it into the rectum and colon.
This instrument is called the colonoscope and has its own lens and a light source which lets the doctor view the images on a monitor.
Why Is Colonoscopy Done?
Colonoscopy is done to explore the possible causes of abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, chronic constipation, chronic diarrhoea and intestinal problems.
Colonoscopy is also used as a method of screening for colon cancer.
Preparation For The Procedure:
Your doctor will educate you about the dietary restrictions they need to be followed and what cleansing routine is to be used.
The procedure consists of limiting your diet to clear liquids the day before and consuming either a large volume of special cleansing or oral laxatives.
Medications: most of your medications can be continued as usual but your doctor needs to be informed about them as some medications may interfere with the examination.
What Happens During Colonoscopy?
During colonoscopy you might feel pressure, experience bloating or cramping.
You will be asked to lie on your back or the side while your doctor slowly advances a colonoscope along your large intestine to examine the lining. He/she will also examine the lining while slowly withdrawing the colonoscope.
This procedure lasts for less than 45 minutes; sometimes, however, it may take up to 2 or 3 hours.
What Happens After The Colonoscope?
You will be put under observation until the effects of sedation have worn off. You experience some cramping or bloating because of air introduced during the examination.
You should be able to eat after the examination, however, your doctor may restrict your diet and activities after polypectomy.
Perforation or tear through the bowel wall; which may require a surgery.
Bleeding at the site of biopsy or polypectomy, usually minor.
Some patients might have a reaction to sedation or complications may arise from lung or heart diseases.
If you experience severe abdominal pain, fever, chills or rectal bleeding contact your doctor immediately