Diagram of Bowel Colon Colonoscope colonoscopy

What is a Colonoscopy?

A Colonoscopy is a procedure that enables us to examine the colon (bowel) for abnormalities. Colonoscopy is a powerful tool in diagnosing digestive health issues such as colon cancer, bowel polyps and bowel cancer. The colonoscope is a small flexible tube that has a tiny video camera inside that enables us to visualize your bowel.

We can take samples (known as biopsies) through the scope for testing by the pathology laboratory. Biopsies are an effective diagnostic method that can aid your diagnosis and treatment.  Our Gastroenterologists can remove bowel polyps if detected, via hot or cold snaring (known as polypectomy).

Our specialist Anaesthetists will administer gentle sedation to ensure that your comfort during your procedure whilst lying on your left side. Our gastroenterologists will  then gently traverse the colonoscope around your colon.

Our team will advise you prior about the diet required for colonoscopy used to clean the bowel thus allowing us to see the lining of your large intestine in detail.

Nurse explaining ColonoscopyPre-Admission Clinic

All of our patients attending for a colonoscopy are advised to see our Pre-admission endoscopy nurses 1 week before your test to receive a tailored bowel prep. We will discuss whether your usual medications should be adjusted prior to your procedure. Our specialist endoscopy nurses will also assess your specific medical conditions prior to you commencing your preparation.

Alternatively, we can email you the instructions and one of our nurses to schedule a time to discuss your prep with you by phone.

What can be expected during the procedure?

Our patients typically tolerate a colonoscopy very well.  Our anaesthetist will give you a light anaesthetic prior to the procedure via a small needle in your vein which will make you sleepy and comfortable. Most patients do not feel anything. You should remember little or nothing of the procedure.

The colonoscope will be gently passed into the rectum and around the large bowel and often ileum (end of the small intestine).

The procedure typically is completed in approximately 20 minutes.

What are the potential side effects of a colonoscopy?

Although very rare, some side effects which may include slight cramping and bloating.

Patients will typically recover very quickly from their procedure, however the sedation may take several hours to wear off.

You cannot drive home after your colonoscopy, however you are permitted to drive your car the next day.

Please check out our detailed information below regarding risks and side-effects:

If you have any of the following issues, we will need to see you prior to booking your colonoscopy to undergo a brief medical assessment by our doctor:

  • If you are aged 80 years or over
  • If you are on anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as Warfarin, Xarelto (Rivaroxaban), Clopidogrel (Plavix or Iscover), Eliquis (Apixiban), Pradaxa (Dabigatran), Effient (Prasugrel), Brillinta (Ticagrelor)
  • If you have a BMI over 40
  • If you have a BMI between 35-40 with significant health problems
  • If you have an unstable medical condition such as a recent (within the last 6 months) heart attack, stroke, severe asthma/ephysema etc..
  • If you are under 12 years of age.