Colonoscopy in Sydney
Serving patients in Penrith, Blacktown, Bass Hill & Baulkham Hills
The large intestine, also called the large bowel consists of two main parts, the colon and the rectum. The colon receives digestive waste from the small intestine and forms stool which is propelled towards the anus through a small segment called the rectum.
What is a Colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure to evaluate the inner lining of the colon and rectum. It is performed with a colonoscope - a long, flexible lighted tube with a camera. The colonoscope is inserted into the anus and passed through the rectum and colon. It allows your doctor to view the entire colon and rectum as well as the lower part of the small intestine.
Candidates for Colonoscopy
Colonoscopy is recommended for people aged 50 and above with a normal risk of colorectal cancer. The test helps to diagnose tumours, ulcers, polyps and areas of inflammation or bleeding. It is also indicated to check for the cause of
- Rectal bleeding, dark stools or blood in the stool
- Chronic diarrhea
- Anaemia due to iron deficiency
- Unexplained weight loss and belly pain
- Abnormal results from a barium enema test or a stool test
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Patients with abdominal infection or inflamed pouches in the wall of the colon called diverticulitis.
- Bleeding disorders
Colonoscopy Prep and Pre-Procedure Diet
To prevent visual obstruction during the procedure, it is important to understand what you are allowed to eat before a colonoscopy. Sydney colorectal surgeon Dr. Kuzinkovas will advise you to stop consuming solid foods and to limit your intake to clear liquids the day before your examination. You should also avoid beverages that contain red or purple dye. Additionally, you will have to temporarily stop taking blood thinners, diabetes/blood pressure medication, and iron supplements. A bowel prep may be prescribed the night before your colonoscopy procedure to loosen stool and increase bowel movements. In some cases, an enema may be administered a few hours before the procedure.
During the procedure, you may be given pain medicines and a sedative to reduce discomfort and help you relax.
- You will lie on your side with your knees drawn towards your chest.
- The colonoscope is inserted into your anus and moved slowly through the colon. Air is inflated into the colon to provide a clear view of the colon's lining.
- You may experience abdominal cramping or an urge to pass stool when the scope is in your colon.
- The complete length of your colon is examined and images captured and relayed to an external monitor.
- During the procedure tissue samples, may be removed with forceps for biopsy and polyps may be snared.
- The scope is then pulled out of the anus and the area cleaned. Passing gas can help relieve the abdominal cramps.
How Long Does a Colonoscopy Take?
A colonoscopy procedure typically takes about 30 to 45 minutes. If Dr. Kuzinkovas finds polyps during the procedure, it may take longer depending on the number and size of the polys that need to be removed.
After the procedure, it will take an hour for the sedative to wear off but you will still require someone to drive you home. A normal diet with increased fluid intake is usually recommended. If a polyp has been removed, you may be placed on a special diet. You may experience a sensation of bloating which can be relieved by walking. It is normal to pass a small quantity of blood with the first bowel movement after the procedure. Consult your doctor if you experience abdominal pain, high fever or increased blood in the stools.
Risks and complications
Colonoscopy is usually a safe procedure but as with any procedure, certain complications can occur. These include:
- Bleeding after a biopsy or polyp removal
- Perforation in the intestinal wall