Colonoscopy is a procedure that examines the inside of the colon and rectum to investigate gastrointestinal problems such as abdominal pain and bloating. A long, thin, flexible tube called a colonoscope is inserted into the rectum and guided into the colon to check for polyps and tumors.
You will need to fast for at least 6 hours to ensure that your stomach is empty. Inform your doctor of underlying chronic conditions you may have, such as diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure and if you are on regular medications. You may be instructed to stop taking certain medications a few days before the procedure, such as blood thinning medications that may increase your risk of bleeding.
You will be required to do a bowel preparation before the procedure and will be given a solution to consume the day before the procedure. The solution will cause diarrhea to ensure that the colon is free from fecal matter before the colonoscopy is done. You will also be restricted to a soft or liquid diet and may only consume clear liquids like soups, water and juice.
Your breathing, heart rate and blood pressure will be monitored throughout the procedure.
Your doctor will insert the colonoscope into your anus. A tiny camera attached to the scope will transmit images to a video monitor. This enables the doctor to look for abnormalities in your lower digestive tract. Tissue samples will be collected for analysis and polyps will be removed if they are present.
You will rest in a recovery room after your colonoscopy and your vital signs will be closely monitored until the sedation wears off.
You will be allowed to leave the hospital once you are well enough. You will be given a follow up appointment to review your test results.
Should you feel unwell after the procedure, contact your doctor immediately or call our 24-Hour Medical Urgency Clinic.
Learn more about AI-assisted colonoscopy to improve colorectal cancer screening here.