The Colonoscopy is performed to examine and view the rectum and colon. This procedure helps to treat intestinal problems like colon cancer or inflammatory diseases.
Preparations for the procedure
- A day or two before the procedure, the patient will be put on a liquid diet. This is called as bowel preparation. The patient may also be given enema to prepare the bowel for the procedure.
- Before the procedure, the patient will be advised to keep 8-10 hours of gap from the last meal.
- It would be advisable to get someone along with you to drive you home after the procedure.
During the procedure
- A Colonoscopy generally lasts between 30-60 minutes and does not require admission in the hospital
- The patient would have to change into an examination gown and lay down on the left side with knees bent.
- Pain medications and sedatives will be given to the patient via IV through the arm.
- For proper guidance, the surgeon will use the colonoscope by inserting it into the rectum. This flexible and long instrument, ½” in diameter and is equipped with a fiber optic camera.
- Small growths and tissue samples will be collected/removed with the help of special tools/attachments.
- The patient can go home after the sedation wears off.
- He or she may experience cramping, flatulence or even slight bleeding after the procedure.
Risk and Complications
- Although it is very rare, complications may develop if there is a removal of polyp.
- Some of the other complications could be due to a reaction to the medication, bleeding and perforation.
Uses of the colonoscopy
- As a screening test for early detection of colorectal cancer and taking a biopsy sample if needed
- Removal of polyp
- Evaluating the symptoms of certain inflammatory bowel diseases due to rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, sudden change in bowel habits and non-dietary weight loss
- Medical tourists would have to undergo bowel preparations a day or two before the procedure
- Tourists can go back home after full recovery
- Patients should not drive for 24 hours due to the effects of the sedation