What is a colonoscopy and what is it for?

A colonoscopy is a test used to examine the condition of the large intestine and the end of the small intestine.
What is a colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is a test used to examine the condition of the large intestine and the end of the small intestine. The aim can be to diagnose possible illnesses, as well as to treat certain pathologies that can be seen through the same observation, such as: haemorrhoids, polyps...
How is it performed?
A colonoscopy is performed using an apparatus called a colonoscope, which consists of a flexible tube that is inserted into the rectum through the anal sphincter. If the purpose of the procedure is diagnostic, the device simply has a camera and a light that facilitates viewing through the monitor. On the other hand, if a pathology is to be treated, instruments will be added to carry out an intervention.
When should it be done?
This test is mainly performed to rule out the possibility of colon cancer in patients who show digestive symptoms or have a family history. On the other hand, and in general, it is recommended to perform one from the age of 50 if they do not have any risk factors, repeating it every five or ten years.

It is also carried out when patients show the following risk factors:
  • Chronic diarrhoea
  • Chronic abdominal pain
  • Rectal bleeding when going to the toilet or in the stool itself.
  • Crohn's disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Chronic iron anaemia, which may be caused by bleeding in the colon.
  • Presence of polyps or family history of polyposis.
  • If the patient has lost a lot of weight in a short period of time for no apparent reason.

When should a colonoscopy not be performed?
The main reasons why a patient may not be able to have a colonoscopy are: severe decompensated respiratory or heart failure, recent myocardial infarction, intestinal perforation and severe blood clotting disorders. You can learn more about colonoscopy in Singapore at https://drganesh.sg/colonoscopy-in-singapore-all-you-need-to-know/.
Preparation of the patient prior to the test
To facilitate medical observation of the bowel, the patient should follow a series of instructions to remove any debris that may be present in the area of the digestive tract.
First of all, the days before the colonoscopy, the patient must maintain a low-residue diet until the day before, when he/she will have to eat only liquids. In addition, the patient should supplement this diet with laxative products to promote intestinal cleansing.

Are there any risks?
Although colonoscopy is a safe procedure, like any invasive medical technique, it may involve some risk. Serious complications usually occur in 0.5% of cases, and most of the time they are solved in the same exploration.

On the day of the colonoscopy
On the day of the procedure, the patient is given deep sedation so that he or she does not feel any discomfort and can remain calm during the test. The duration of the colonoscopy can vary between 30 minutes and an hour depending on the type of area to be examined.
Once the session is over, the patient must wait a few minutes lying down while the anaesthesia wears off. It is highly recommended that you come to this test with a companion, as even a few hours after the test, you may notice the mild effects of the sedation.
Although it may seem a somewhat uncomfortable test, colonoscopy does not cause any discomfort for most patients, who return to normal life within 24 hours. What you may notice is some pressure in the abdominal area caused by the device itself and by a gas that is used to expand the walls of the digestive tract.
Now that you know a little more about colonoscopy, if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, we recommend that you do not delay a visit to the specialist who is the professional who will determine and prescribe the test. Because prevention is the best medicine. At 38 Irrawaddy Road, #05-23 Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre @ Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital Singapore 329563, they have the best medical equipment in Singapore to carry out this type of test, in state-of-the-art facilities and through a professional and personalised service. You can call 65 6255 1234 to arrange an appointment and consultation.