Health

What Is a Colonoscopy?

Before you define a colonoscopy procedure, you have to understand why it is performed. Your doctor may recommend the procedure to help him or her explore the possible reasons for abdominal pain, chronic constipation, rectal bleeding, chronic diarrhoea, or other intestinal difficulties.

A Screening for Colon Cancer

Older patients may also undergo a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer. This procedure is just one of the options used for this screening. A doctor will also schedule a colonoscopy to check for and remove polyps. This is done to lessen your risk for colon cancer.

Therefore, a colonoscopy is defined as an exam that is used to detect abnormalities or changes in the large intestine and rectum. During the procedure, a long and flexible tube known as a colonoscope is placed in the patient’s rectum. A tiny video camera positioned at the tip of the tube permits the doctor to see the inside of the colon.

Sedation Is Used

If needed, polyps or other kinds of abnormal tissues, are removed through the scope during the procedure. Tissue samples called biopsies may be taken during the procedure as well. The procedure is performed using sedation. Therefore, the patient is comfortable and pain-free.

Before a stomach screening colonoscopy in Singapore the colon is cleared of faeces. The patient also takes a medicine to clear the colon. Patients need to drink two litres of water or clear fluids to avoid dehydration. No milk products should be consumed before the procedure. However, patients may drink beverages such as pulp-free fruit juice or honey.

Patients are asked not to consume vegetables, fruits, nuts, cereals, or fibre-rich substances a day before the colonoscopy as well. Doing so will lead to the production of a large amount of faecal matter in the colon. Instead, patients are asked to eat a light meal before taking the bowel preparation medicine. The meal may include noodles or porridge with eggs or lean meat.

Patients are asked to stop eating six hours before the screening procedure. However, they may still continue to drink beverages up to two hours before the procedure. Patients who experience vomiting or abdominal pain whilst taking the medicine should contact their doctors immediately. After the bowel preparation, the patient passes clear fluids through the anus.

Precautions

Precautions are advised for colonoscopy patients if they have underlying kidney or heart issues. Therefore, in these instances, patients are advised to check with their doctors about preparing for the screening. Also, patients taking medications such as blood thinning agents should stop taking the medicines at least seven days before undergoing the procedure.

Patients who are diabetic should stop taking or omit their medicine on the day of the colonoscopy. Blood sugar levels can drop whilst fasting. Patients who have had heart valve replacements or prosthetic implants must inform their doctor about their conditions. Doing so is important as antibiotics must be administered before the procedure.

After the procedure, patients may experience some distension of the abdomen, which eventually resolves. Patients cannot pass stools several days after the procedure either. Anybody who experiences severe abdominal pain or an excess amount of bleeding in the stool should contact his or her doctor without delay.

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