It is a routine procedure performed by a specialist called a gastroenterologist. A colonoscopy allows an examination of the entire colon (1200-1500 mm in length). To carefully inspect the colon, a colonoscopy will be used.
It is a lighted -flexible tubular instrument using fiber optic camera or CCD camera at the tip. It is a long and about a centime in diameter, about the width of your finger. The flexible tube will be passed through your rectum (anus).
It can provide analysis of polyps and ulcerations. Colonoscopy can remove polyps as small one millimeter or less. It also grants the chance for biopsy.
Once the polyps are removed they will be studied to determine if they are precancerous or not. Colonoscopy is safe, painless and will only take about 20-30 minutes.
1] What Are The Risks Or Complications?
Perforation is the most dreaded complication of colonoscopy. Accidentally making a hole in the colon is minimal and requires emergency operation. During the removal of a polyp or in the colonoscope insertion, perforation may happen.
People with weakened colons due to previous radiation, had surgery like hysterectomy, serious colonic disease, constant use of steroids and elderly people are the most at risk of perforation during the insertion of the colonoscope.
Rapture is uncommon, if the one performing the produced is a competent and skilled professional. Other complications are bleeding, anesthesia and bowel preparation, but pretty much manageable.
Bleeding complications during the removal of polyps may be treated right away during the procedure by cauterization via the apparatus.
Anesthesia complication is cardiopulmonary like a temporary drop in blood pressure, overmedication and oxygen saturation but can easily reverse by the medical expert. Bowel preparation the day before the colonoscopy is addressed by hydration.
2] What Will The Patient Do Or Prepare Before The Colonoscopy Procedure?
A blood test is required before the procedure. A day before the colonoscopy the objective of the preparation is to free the colon of solid matter. The patient should have ready access to toilet facilities that’s why he should plan to spend the day at home in comfortable surroundings.
With repeated bowel movements, the patient may require a soothing agent such as petroleum jelly applied after cleaning the anus to relieve discomfort.
The patient is also given a laxative preparation (such as Pisocolax, Bisacodyl, phospo soda, sodium pyrosulphate, or sodium phosphate and/or magnesium citrate) and large quantities of fluid, or whole bowel irrigation is performed using a solution of polyethylene glycol and electrolytes.
Regularly, the process involves both a pill-form laxative and a bowel irrigation preparation with the 238 grams of polyethylene glycol powder mixed into any 2 liters clear liquid, preferably a sports drink, like Gatorade that contains electrolytes to prevent dehydration. Refrigerate the mixture.
Take two (2) bisacodyl 5 mg tablets are taken 3 pm; at 5 pm, the patient starts drinking the mixture (approx. 8 oz. (0.5 liters) each 15-30 min. until finished); at 8 pm, take two (2) bisacodyl 5 mg tablets; continue drinking/hydrating into the evening until before sleeping.
For the procedure to perform properly the colon must be free of obstructions. For one to three days, the patient is obligated to pursue a low fiber or clear-liquid only diet.
Examples of clear fluids are prune juice, lemonade, lemon-lime soda (colored sodas are not allowed), sports drink, and water. Hydration is very essential for the patient. During the eradication of the bowel, sports drinks with electrolytes are highly recommended.
3] What Will Happen During The Colonoscopy Procedure?
By and large colonoscopy is a well-tolerated and safe method. To determine if the preparation has been sufficient a digital rectal examination is usually the first step to examine the tone of the sphincter.
The colonoscopy is then passed through the anus, rectum and to the colon. The patient is given a calming agent and pain medication through an IV that is placed by the nurse before the procedure.
The patient will not remember and experience the pain of the procedure because of the sedative and pain reliever. The patient can see the procedure in the monitor while lying down on your left side on your left side during the procedure.
The patient is in a twilight sleep. During a colonoscopy, your doctor is cautiously inspecting the colon and may remove polyps or take biopsies which involve the simple removal of a small sample of the tissue lining.
Cauterization will be made to suspicious lesions or incised with an electric wire for purposes of biopsy or complete removal called polypectomy. Bleeding lesions may be injected for medication.
4] What Will Happen After The Procedure?
Under normal conditions the average colonoscopy procedure will take 20-30 minutes. However the procedure may vary depending on the findings.
The recovery time is about 30 minutes for an out-patient. During colonoscopy medications are given, that can temporarily impair judgment and coordination of the patient.
The patient should be accompanied home. After 24 hours of your colonoscopy, the patient may feel the following loose watery stools, light-headedness from medicine intake, feeling sick to the stomach and cramping or bloating but can be relieve by passing gas.
At least a day’s rest is recommend before the patient can go to work. Doing strenuous activity or heavy exercise is not advised like jogging or lifting weights. Long-distance travel as well as air travel is only recommended after 2 weeks of the patient’s colonoscopy procedure.
5] The Patient Takes Medications For Diabetes And High Blood Pressure, Should He/Her Stop Taking Medication Before The Colonoscopy Procedure?
To avoid the risk of bleeding the patient may be advised to skip aspirin or blood thinner medications a week before the procedure to prevent bleeding.
It, is logical to visit your medical provider, let them know of your upcoming procedure and they will be the one to adjust your medications
6] Is Colonoscopy Really Safe?
Yes of course. History will prove this. In the 1960’s, Dr. William Wolff and Dr.Hiromi Shinya, pioneered the development of the colonoscopy. It is one of the greatest inventions for humanity.
Feature Image Credit: shutterstock.com/
Inpost Image Credit: shutterstock.com/