What is a Colonoscopy?

A Colonoscopy is a safe, low risk procedure that enables us to examine your colon (bowel) for abnormalities. Colonoscopy is an accurate test to diagnose digestive health issues such as bowel polyps and bowel cancer. The colonoscope is a small flexible tube with a tiny video camera inside that enables us to see your bowel lining.

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

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

The 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. 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 the procedure?

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?colonoscopy melbourne

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. You can drive your car the next day.

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

Prior to booking your colonoscopy our doctors will need to see you for a brief medical assessment if you have any of the following issues:

  • 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?