What is a Colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a procedure to examine the inside of your bowels using a long thin flexible tube with a camera and light. A colonoscopy will provide a full evaluation of the inside of your bowels and is normally advised if you are suffering from symptoms such as a change in bowel habit, abdominal pain and blood in your stool. They are also performed as part of screening programmes for cancer or other bowel conditions e.g. ulcerative colitis, diverticular disease, polips or family history.
Why would I have a colonoscopy?
You may need a colonoscopy if you have:
- Blood in your stool
- Persistent diarrhoea or constipation (change in bowel habits)
- Rapid weight loss without trying
- Frequent low energy
- Investigation of Anemia
A colonoscopy will also be performed to:
- Investigate growths in your bowels (polyps)
- Investigate if you have Crohn's disease, bowel cancer or ulcerative colitis
What happens during a colonoscopy?
Before the day of your colonoscopy you will be sent correspondence advising of the steps you will need to take prior to your scheduled procedure. You'll need to eat certain foods and refrain from eating and drinking on the day of your colonoscopy. The colonoscopy itself will take no more than 45 minutes and will involve carbon dioxide being used to gentle expand your bowels to allow the camera to be inserted and enable clear precise views, so that tissue samples (biopsy) may be obtained. The results of your colonoscopy are normally available one to two weeks after and will be discussed at your next consultation.