What is it?
A colonoscopy is a common gastroenterological procedure during which a colonoscope (a long, flexible tube with a tiny video camera in the tip) is inserted into the rectum. The camera allows your gastroenterologist to view the entire inner lining of the colon. Sedation is administered prior to commencement of the procedure.
When is it used?
A colonoscopy is used to detect changes or abnormalities in the large intestine (colon) and rectum. Your gastroenterologist may recommend this procedure in order to help diagnose the cause of symptoms, or to confirm diagnosis of a certain condition. A colonoscopy can be helpful in determining the origin of gastrointestinal bleeding, to check for the presence of colonic polyps, and to search for other signs of gastrointestinal disorders and inflammatory bowel diseases.
Is it safe?
Yes, a colonoscopy is very safe. Minor discomfort following the procedure is normal due to excess air which is dispelled as gas. This will generally dissipate within a few hours. According to the Mayo Clinic, the colonoscopy is generally considered the "gold standard" for colon cancer screening.
How can it help me?
If you have experienced any symptoms which may be related to inflammatory bowel diseases or colon cancer, it can be a safe and reliable diagnostic procedure. It is also recommended if you have a history of colon cancer in your family. Successful treatment of any gastrointestinal disease depends upon early diagnosis. Please give us a call if you have any questions - we are here to help!