Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy is a safe and effective way to evaluate problems such as blood loss, pain, and changes in bowel habits such as chronic diarrhoea or abnormalities that may have first been detected by other tests. Colonoscopy can also identify and treat active bleeding from the bowel.

Colonoscopy

What is a colonoscopy?

Colonoscopy is more precise than an X-ray. This procedure also allows other instruments to be passed through the colonoscope. These may be used, for example, to painlessly remove a suspicious-looking growth/lesion/polyp or to take a biopsy (a small piece for further analysis). Colonoscopy may help to avoid surgery or to better define what type of surgery may be needed in the future.

Colonoscopy is an important way to check for colon cancer and to treat colon polyps – abnormal growths on the inside lining of the intestine. Polyps vary in size and shape and, while most are not cancerous, some may turn into cancer. However, it is not possible to tell just by looking at a polyp if it is malignant or potentially malignant. This is why colonoscopy is often used to remove polyps, a technique called a polypectomy.

Why is a colonoscopy performed?

  • Rectal bleeding
  • Iron deficiency anaemia.
  • Abdominal pain and alteration in bowel habit
  • The presence of colorectal cancer risk factors
  • Clarification of barium enema findings
  • Positive faecal occult test
  • Indication for repeat colonoscopy
  • Patients with previous bowel polyps or cancer
  • Surveillance of inflammatory bowel disease
  • Patients with a family history of bowel cancer or polyps in first degree relatives.

How should I prepare for a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy has a strict diet that must be followed prior to procedure. A pharmaceutical product will also be given to ensure clear images are seen throughout your procedure. Sydney Gastroenterology and Liver Group will give you further information upon confirmation of your procedure.

Please advise us of all medications prior to your procedure.

Should I arrange for help after the colonoscopy?

You will receive sedatives so you won’t be allowed to drive after the procedure until the next day, even if you don’t feel tired. You should arrange for a ride home. You must have someone stay with you at home after the examination as the sedatives could affect your judgment and reflexes for 24 hours.

The information provided here is for general educational purposes only. If you would like to know if a colonoscopy is appropriate for your situation, please contact Sydney Gastroenterology & Liver Group.

For appointments and enquiries, please phone   02 9480 6210

8:30AM – 5:00PM Monday - Thursday
8:30AM – 4:00PM Fridays

Suite 213
San Clinic Tulloch
Sydney Adventist Hospital
185 Fox Valley Rd
Wahroonga NSW 2076

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