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  • What is a colonoscopy?


    Colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure to help doctors detect changes or abnormalities in the colon and rectum. During a colonoscopy, a long and flexible tube called a colonoscope is inserted through the anus and carefully pushed into the rectum and colon. This procedure is usually done under sedation for comfort.

    The colon or large intestine is part of your digestive system. It connects the small intestine to the rectum.

  • Your doctor might recommend a colonoscopy if you have symptoms that suggest potential abnormalities in your colon or rectum. Colonoscopy is also a method to screen for colon cancer.

    Symptoms of colon or rectum abnormalities

    These symptoms include:

    • Rectal bleeding
    • Changes in bowel habits such as constipation or diarrhoea
    • Blood in the stool
    • Abnormal weight loss
    • Abdominal pain

    Colonoscopy can also be used for:

    • Colon cancer or colon polyp screening. Colon cancer or polyp screening is recommended for people above 50 years old. People with a family history of colon cancer should start colon cancer screening from 40 years old onwards.
    • Diagnosis of inflammatory bowel diseases. These include Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis which are marked by inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • The day before your colonoscopy, you will be asked to refrain from solid foods and consume only clear liquids. You will also need to fast from the night before. A laxative or enema kit will be given to empty or clear your colon so that the colonoscope can capture a clear and unobstructed view of your colon and rectum.

    You will be sedated for the procedure and be asked to lie on your side before the doctor inserts a colonoscope into your rectum. The scope contains a small light and camera, and a tube to pump small amounts of air or carbon dioxide to inflate the colon to give provide a better view.

    A colonoscopy is considered to be a safe procedure and risks such as adverse reaction to the sedative, bleeding from the biopsy site or perforation of the colon or rectum wall are rare.

    For more information on preparing your bowels before a colonoscopy, download our ‘Preparing for a Gastroscopy / Colonoscopy’ brochure.

  • The newly refurbished endoscopy centre at Gleneagles Hospital provides a range of diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopic procedures.

    These include colonoscopy, gastroscopy, bronchoscopy and cystoscopy, as well as endoscopic submucosal dissection and insertion of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy.

    Your goal of getting the most appropriate treatment is our strength. Quality and customised healthcare has been our legacy for more than 60 years.

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    There are 26 SpecialistsView All