What is Colonoscopy?
If your doctor has recommended a colonoscopy procedure you may be concerned about what this is all about. The simple explanation is that your doctor has identified something that needs checking out. It doesn’t mean there is any reason to panic – it just means that your symptoms need a closer examination.
Think of it as putting your inside under a microscope to find out what might be causing your symptoms. A colonoscopy investigates your large bowel using a tiny flexible tube with a camera and this can be carried out without a general anaesthetic in about 30 minutes.
If you’re exploring private options rather than going on a waiting list you’ll find the Highgate Private Hospital has a team of highly experienced consultants and nursing staff who will ensure the colonoscopy procedure is as easy as possible for you.
From your first consultation to the aftercare immediately after the colonoscopy, you’ll be well looked after and any questions you may have will be answered at every stage. Our patient information booklet will tell you exactly what will happen at each stage and your consultant will answer any concerns you may have before your colonoscopy takes place.
Q: What conditions might be revealed during a colonoscopy?
A: It can assist in exploring colitis, polyps (small protruding growths), Crohn’s disease and inflammatory bowel disease.
Q: Is there any other way of carrying out this kind of exploration?
A: It is possible to find out some things with a barium enema or an air contrast CT scan, but neither of these procedures allows for polyps to be removed or biopsies to be taken so, should there need to be further investigation you would need to return for another procedure
Q: Is it just a camera?
A: The endoscope (that’s the term for the equipment containing the camera, also has the ability to remove polyps and take biopsies if the consultant wants to take a closer look. This doesn’t hurt and means you won’t need to come back for another procedure later.
Q: Does it hurt?
A: There may some minor discomfort as the tube is introduced into your colon, but this is momentary and your nurse will ensure you are all right and can provide you with medication to help if necessary.
Q: Is there an incision?
A: No, the endoscope is inserted gently via your back passage.
Q: Will I need an enema?
A: No, but you will be given a very specific diet to follow for the days prior to your procedure and you must fast for 24 hours beforehand and drink nothing for three hours beforehand. You’ll get comprehensive information well before your appointment.
Q: Are there any after effects?
A: You will feel bloated and may have wind pains, but these will pass naturally. If you have had gas and air during the procedure you will need to wait for about 30 minutes for the effects to wear off and if you’ve had other sedation you may need to wait longer and you will be monitored by the nurse until you are fit to leave. It is advisable to have someone with you to take you home.