A colonoscopy is a procedure that examines the large intestine (colon) and the rectum for any unusual changes or abnormalities. This test is performed to screen for polyps and possible indicators of colon cancer.
How the Test Is Performed?
During a colonoscopy, sedation is advised. A moderate sedative is sometimes given as a tablet. In certain situations, the sedative is mixed with intravenous pain medication to reduce discomfort. You will be laying on your side on the exam table, normally with your knees drawn near your chest, for the examination. A colonoscope will be inserted into your rectum by the doctor.
The colonoscope has a flexible tube with a tiny camera attached to it. The camera transmits images to an external monitor, allowing your doctor to examine the inside of your colon.
To improve the view, air will be injected through the scope. To remove fluid or stool, suction can be utilized.
Using microscopic biopsy forceps introduced through the scope, tissue samples can be obtained. Electrocautery snares can be used to remove polyps, and photos can be taken.
A colonoscopy procedure takes up to 60 minutes to complete.
How to Prepare For the Test?
Taking a laxative, either in tablet or liquid form, is normally recommended by the doctor. You might be told to take the laxative the night before your colonoscopy, or you might be told to take it both the night before and the day of the procedure.
For some instances to empty your colon, the doctor would suggest you to use an over-the-counter enema kit the night before the procedure or a few hours before the procedure. This method is usually only useful for emptying the lower colon and is not suggested as a primary method of colon emptying.
Discuss your medication with your doctor; you may be recommended to alter your dose or stop taking them for some time before the procedure.
Sedatives and pain relievers will help you relax and will make you drowsy. Before the test, a rectal check is routinely performed to ensure that there are no serious blockages.
In a few hours, the sedation should wear off. You may not feel any discomfort and have no recollection of the test due to the anaesthesia.
Because outpatients will be queasy and unable to drive after the test, they should arrange for someone to drive them home.
Why the Test is Performed?
Investigate the causes of stomach pain, rectal bleeding, persistent constipation, chronic diarrhoea, and other intestinal issues
Colon cancer screening
Check for further polyps; if you've previously had polyps, your doctor may suggest a follow-up colonoscopy
Inflammatory bowel disease (Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease)