Tuesday, June 1, 2010

WHAT IS A COLONOSCOPY?


Colonoscopy is a procedure that enables examination of the lining of the colon (large bowel) using a thin flexible tube with a video camera, lens and light source at its end (colonoscope), which is advanced slowly from the rectum, around the colon.

WHY IS A COLONOSCOPY DONE?
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Iron deficiency anaemia.
  • Abdominal pain and alteration in bowel habit
  • The presence of colorectal cancer risk factors
  • Clarification of barium enema findings
  • Positive Faecal occult test.
  • Indication for repeat colonoscopy
  • Patients with previous bowel polyps or cancer
  • Surveillance of inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Patients with a family history of bowel cancer or polyps in first degree relatives.
WHAT PREPARATION IS REQUIRED?

The colon must be completely clean for the procedure to be accurate and complete. You will be given detailed instructions regarding the dietary restrictions to be followed and the cleansing routine to be used. In general, preparation consists of either consumption of a large volume of a special cleansing solution or several days of clear liquids and laxatives prior to the examination. Follow the instructions carefully.

WHAT ABOUT MY CURRENT MEDICATIONS?

Most medications may be continued as usual but some medications can interfere with bowel preparation or the examination. It is therefore best to inform your doctor of your current medications, as well as any allergies you may have to medications. Aspirin, arthritis medications, anticoagulants, insulin, and iron products are examples of medications whose use should be discussed with your doctor prior to the examination, It is essential that you alert your doctor if you require antibiotics prior to undergoing dental procedures, since you may need antibiotics prior to your colonoscopy as well.

Possible medication adjustments: Before the test, be sure to discuss with the doctor whether you should adjust any of your usual medications before the procedure, any drug allergies you may have, and whether you have any major conditions such as a heart or lung condition, that might require special attention during the procedure.



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