Colonoscopy is the most accurate investigation for detection of any abnormalities in the colon managing and investigating some of them. We would like to guide you through on how you can prepare for the procedure and pointers on what to expect during and after it.
If someone has changes in bowel habits, a history of inflammatory bowel disease, history of colorectal cancer in the immediate family, Dr Ganesh Ramalingam would recommend colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer. The colonoscope that is used is a thin and flexible tube with a small camera on the end. It is well proven that with regular screening, Colorectal Cancer is preventable and curable cancer.
Preparing for colonoscopy
One of the biggest fears of discomfort during the procedure is addressed by Dr Ganesh in a form of sedation that will ensure that the procedure will be painless. In preparation for the scope, enabling Dr Ganesh enabling a good view of the colon during the procedure, the colon would need to be cleared. 1 bottle of oral fleet and 1 packet of fortran will be given the day before the procedure to flush out the contents of the patient bowels. On the night before the procedure the patients would have to start the 1st bottle of oral fleet with 1000ml of water drunk slowly over 1 hour. Following this, the packet of fortran is consumed with 1000ml of water and that is drunk slowly over 1 hour. It would be best to avoid fruits, vegetables, nuts and all foods rich in fibre one day before the procedure. The passing of stool would likely start within an hour. The average number of times to pass stool is about 6-8 times. Fasting is started 8 hours before the procedure. Dr Ganesh makes a conscious effort to perform the colonoscopy early in the morning so that fasting usually coincides with the time that they sleep. Anyone on aspirin or other blood-thinning medications, will be advised to stop those medications temporarily for between 3 to 5 days.
What to expect during the procedure
On the day of the scope, arrive an hour before the appointment time. The colonoscopy is done under sedation so that there would be no discomfort. Once fully asleep, the scope tube is inserted through the anus. If there are any abnormalities polyps can also be removed and be sent for a test by a pathologist to ascertain their actual composition. Special instruments can be passed through the scope to enable small pieces to be taken.
Doctor Ganesh always checks and speaks to the patient at the ward after the procedure has been done to check on the patient’s recovery and to explain the results of the scope. successfully. Patient may feel drowsy from the sedation, so Dr Ganesh recommends someone to come and fetch the patient home after procedure and not for the patient to drive home themselves. Patients are also called one day after the procedure, to follow up and check on them. Patients are scheduled for a review with Doctor Ganesh one week after the procedure to check for symptoms and explain other results like the histology.