If any gastroenterologist wants to evaluate the interior of colon then he has to do certain procedure which is known as colonoscopy. In order to do that he uses an instrument which is called Colonoscope. This instrument has 4 feet long flexible tube having a thickness of approximately of your finger with camera along with a source of light at the tip. This tip is inserted in the anus and moved as guided by the visual picture to inspect the colon.
What is the purpose of this procedure?
This procedure is generally needed for following reasons:
- To detect the colon cancer
- To find the cause of blood in the stool
- To investigate the reason of diarrhea, abdominal pain, changed bowel habit etc.
This procedure is very useful for those who have family history of colon cancer and this test must be done after certain period as they are more prone to colon cancer.
What preparation is needed prior to this test?
It is necessary that the bowel must be clean in order to get accurate results of this test. Therefore patient is fed with certain liquid diet before conducting the test. They are also given laxatives or enemas before conducting the test. All the instructions must be done under close supervision of your doctor.
Whether the patient can take his medicines before the test?
Most of the medicines that the patient has been taking can be continued however certain medications are forbidden. Therefore you must tell your doctor about the list of medicines that you are taking. By looking at that doctors will give you proper instructions about taking different medications.
What is expected during the test procedure?
Before starting the procedure the patient is given intravenous liquid and his conditions are continuously monitored by checking his blood pressure, heart rhythm, oxygen in blood etc. Sedatives are given through intravenous line and the patient goes to sleep and does not feel the pain. Additional medicines may also be introduced if needed as patient may feel cramping, pressure and bloating in the abdomen. Patient is asked to sleep on their back or left side when the camera tip is slowly advanced till it reaches to small intestine. The procedure takes about 15 to 60 minutes.
What is expected after the procedure?
Patient is kept under observation for couple of hours. There will be effects of medicines and sedatives for rest of the day. Patient is advised not to drive his car. If patient complains any abnormality then he is given necessary medication. Patient is released thereafter.