A colonoscopy is a medical procedure that examines the large bowel. The colonoscope is a device that consists of a long, firm and flexible plastic tube with a tiny digital camera and light at one end. The gastroenterologist carefully guides this instrument in various directions to look inside the colon. The picture from the camera appears on a monitor to provide a clear, magnified view of the colon lining.

Reasons to have a colonoscopy

A colonoscopy can be used to look for cancer of the colon (bowel cancer) or colon polyps, which are growths on the lining of the colon that can sometimes be cancerous or may grow to be cancerous.

A colonoscopy may be performed to find the cause of signs and symptoms including:

  • bleeding from the rectum
  • blood in stool
  • pus or mucus in stool
  • unexplained abdominal pain
  • changes in bowel habits such as unexplained and long-lasting diarrhoea
  • screening and surveillance for colorectal cancer

Before the procedure, you need to discuss a range of questions with your doctor including:

  • What prescribed medications you may be taking.
  • What other non-prescription items you may be taking such as vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements.
  • The preparation that is required for the procedure, commonly known as a “bowel preparation kit” and instructions on how to use it.
  • Information on food and liquid consumption, such as not to consume any foods or liquids, other than those liquids provided in the “bowel preparation kit”, in the six hours before the procedure.

Talk to your:

  • Doctor
  • Gastroenterologist


Source: Better Health Channel

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