Colonoscopy involves visualising the colon with a long camera. The lining of the bowel wall can be assessed for growths such as polyps or cancer, and inflammatory conditions such as Ulcerative Colitis, Crohns disease, or other forms of colits. This is carried out to investigate abdominal pain, rectal bleeding and change in bowel habit.
The risks of this procedure are very low and may involve pain, perforation or bleeding.
Bleeding may occur, and often stops without further treatment. Rarely further investigations and interventions are required to stop the bleeding.
The bowel needs to be cleared with the preparation and a special diet. You will be given these instructions.
The procedure is carried out under sedation, so you wont feel anything or remember it; you will usually be in hospital for about half a day. You will usually only need 2 days off work, the day of the procedure and the following day, as you recover from having anaesthesia.
Usually there is no discomfort associated with having a colonoscopy. You may have a little bloating, but that should settle by passing wind. If you have ongoing pain, or pain comes on after being discharged from hospital this may be an indication of a problem. You need to ring the rooms in working hours, or the hospital where you had the procedure. Alternatively you should go to the emergency department to be reviewed by medical staff.
Regular medications: It is always best to check with your Doctor as some medications need to be stopped and others need to be taken. In general most medications are taken with a sip of water, but sometimes medications that thin the blood may be stopped for a period of time to prevent excessive bleeding.
Fluids you can drink other than water the day before the colonoscopy include black tea or coffee (no milk), fruit juice(no pulp), sports drinks, strained clear soup, jellies and ice blocks(no red or purple), cordial, lemonade, gastrolyte.