What is a Colonoscopy?
A Colonoscopy is a safe, low risk procedure that enables us to examine your bowel (colon) for abnormalities.
Colonoscopy is an accurate test to diagnose digestive health issues such as bowel cancer or colon cancer.
Colonoscopy currently remains the best way of detecting and the only means of removing polyps from the bowel, via hot or cold snaring (known as polypectomy).
A colonoscope is a small flexible tube with a tiny video camera inside that enables us to see your bowel lining. During a colonoscopy, we can take biopsies (specimen samples) through the scope for testing by a pathology laboratory. Biopsies are helpful diagnostic tests that can aid your treatment.
Our Specialist Anaesthetists will administer a light sedation to ensure your comfort during your colonoscopy whilst lying on your left side. Our Gastroenterologists will then gently traverse the colonoscope around your colon.
Our nursing team will advise about the diet required prior to your colonoscopy. Bowel preparation drinks are used to clean the colon thus allowing us to see the lining of your large intestine in detail.
Colonoscopy Pre-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. Prior to your procedure, your usual medications may need to be adjusted by our specialist endoscopy nurses and doctors. We will also assess your specific medical conditions prior to you commencing your preparation.
Alternatively, we can email you the instructions and arrange a time to discuss your prep with you by phone.
What can be expected during a Colonoscopy?
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 is gently passed from the rectum around the large bowel to the caecum (end of the colon) often into the ileum (end of the small intestine).
The procedure typically takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.
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.
At The Digestive Health Centre Melbourne, Colonoscopy is carefully performed by our experienced and caring
Gastroenterologists and Anaesthetists and generally very well tolerated.
You cannot drive home after your colonoscopy. You can drive your car the next day.
Please check out our detailed information below regarding Colonoscopy risks and side-effects:
If you have any of the following issues, then our doctors will need to see you for a brief medical assessment prior to booking your Colonoscopy:
- Age over 80 years old?
- Are taking blood thinners known as anticoagulants? (such as Warfarin, Xarelto (Rivaroxaban), Clopidogrel (Plavix or Iscover), Eliquis (Apixiban), Pradaxa (Dabigatran), Effient (Prasugrel), etc.)
- Do you have a BMI over 40 or a weight over 150kg? BMI calculator
- Are you Overweight with a BMI between 35-40 with significant health problems?
- Do you have medical conditions such as a recent (within the last 6 months) heart attack, stroke, severe asthma/ephysema etc.?
- Are you are under 12 years of age?