Colonoscopy is a test that is done by your doctor to monitor and examine the inner lining of the large intestine; the rectum and the colon. The colonoscope is a long and flexible tube, whose tip is inserted into the anus and gradually advanced, into your rectum and through the first part of the colon.
A virtual colonoscopy is like an X-ray test, which does not require the insertion of the colonoscope. However, it is not effective in detecting all types of polyps. A colonoscopy with a colonoscope is a much better choice for examining the colon in detail.
A colonoscopy can help in finding ulcers, tumours, colon polyps or any area that is affected by inflammation and bleeding. It can also be performed as a screening test for checking precancerous growth, cancer in the rectum or the colon. During a colonoscopy, your tissue sample will be examined to detect abnormal growths.
Colonoscopy can also be done to investigate the cause of blood in your stool, chronic diarrhea, sudden weight loss, anaemia, unexplained pain in the stomach for a long time or for treating inflammatory bowel disease.
It is mandatory to clean out the colon prior to the test. Two days before the test, you have to stop consuming solid food and drink only fluids to clean out your bowel.
A colonoscopy is performed by a trained specialist either in an outpatient centre or in a hospital. He/ She will first inject an IV needle in the vein of your arm. Sedatives, painkillers or anesthesia is given through that IV channel, allowing you to relax during the test. Your vital stats will be monitored by the staff.
You will have to lie on the table and the doctor will insert the colonoscope into the anus and guide it carefully through the rectum and the colon. The scope will pump air inside the large intestine enabling the doctor to get a better view. During this process, you may experience abdominal cramps or the urge to go to the toilet. The attached camera sends the video image of your intestinal lining to the monitor, where the doctor can view and examine the intestinal tissues. You may have to move several times so that the scope can be adjusted for a better view.
If the doctor comes across any polyps during the screening, he/she can remove them and then send to the lab for a biopsy testing.
It can typically take about 20 minutes to an hour to complete the whole examination. The results are generally available just after the completion of the procedure. Your doctor will share it with you as soon as the effect of the sedative and the anesthesia has worn off.
A person is recommended to undergo a colonoscopy under the following conditions:
You may not be able to have a colonoscopy test done if:
The side effects of undergoing a colonoscopy can be:
The post treatment guidelines after a colonoscopy would include:
After the test, you will have to remain in the clinic for an hour or two to recover from the sedative that was administered. You may be able to resume your daily activities from the day after. If you have diarrhea, you can rest for an extra two or three days.
The price of undergoing a colonoscopy test in India varies from Rs. 9525 to Rs. 22,225.
If you have undergone a routine colonoscopy and come clean, you can opt for the next one after ten years. If there were some small disorders found during the first examination, you must repeat the test after five years.
Colonoscopy is a test that is performed for screening of colon cancer. Other alternative tests include stool tests, sigmoidoscopy, and computed tomographic colonography.