Physician uses a thin, flexible tube called a colonoscope to look at the colon. A colonoscopy helps find ulcers, colon polyps, tumors, and areas of inflammation or bleeding. During a colonoscopy, tissue samples can be collected (biopsy) and abnormal growths can be taken out. Colonoscopy can also be used as a screening test to check for cancer or precancerous growths in the colon or rectum (polyps).
During colonoscopy, hemorrhoid in the rectal area can be detected very often. In such cases, you get additional examinations to refine this diagnosis.
Colonoscopy may be done for the following reasons:
- Abdominal pain, changes in bowel movements, or weight loss
- Abnormal changes (polyps) found on sigmoidoscopy or x-ray tests (CT scan or barium enema)
- Anemia due to low iron (usually when no other cause has been found)
- Blood in the stool, or black, tarry stools
- Follow-up of a past finding, such as polyps or colon cancer
- Inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease)
- Screening for colorectal cancer
In GVM International you can pass colonoscopy examinations to detect the following pathological conditions:
- Inflammation of the colon (colitis, Crohn's disease).
- Benign and malignant neoplasms of the large intestine.
- Erosive and ulcerative blennosis of the colon.
- Traumatic injuries and foreign bodies in the large intestine.
- Sources of intestinal bleeding.
How you prepare
Before a colonoscopy, you'll need to clean out (empty) your colon. Any residue in your colon may obscure the view of your colon and rectum during the exam.
To empty your colon, your doctor may ask you to:
- Follow a special diet the day before the exam. Typically, you won't be able to eat solid food the day before the exam. Drinks may be limited to clear liquids — plain water, tea and coffee without milk or cream, broth, and carbonated beverages. Avoid red liquids, which can be confused with blood during the colonoscopy. You may not be able to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the exam.
- Take a laxative. Your doctor may suggest taking a laxative, in either pill form or liquid form. You may be instructed to take the laxative the night before your colonoscopy, or you may be asked to use the laxative both the night before and the morning of the procedure.
- Use an enema kit. In some cases, you may need to use an over-the-counter enema kit — either the night before the exam or a few hours before the exam — to empty your colon.
- Adjust your medications. Remind your doctor of your medications at least a week before the exam — especially if you have diabetes, high blood pressure or heart problems or if you take medications or supplements that contain iron.
- Also tell your doctor if you take aspirin or other medications that thin the blood, such as warfarin (Coumadin); newer anticoagulants, such as dabigatran (Pradaxa) or rivaroxaban (Xarelto), used to reduce risk of blot clots or stroke; or clopidogrel (Plavix).
- You may need to adjust your dosages or stop taking the medications temporarily.
During the exam
During a colonoscopy, you'll wear a gown but likely nothing else. Sedation is usually recommended. Sometimes a mild sedative is given in pill form. In other cases, the sedative is combined with an intravenous pain medication to minimize any discomfort.
You'll begin the exam lying on your side on the exam table, usually with your knees drawn toward your chest. The doctor will insert a colonoscope into your rectum. The scope — which is long enough to reach the entire length of your colon — contains a light and a tube (channel) that allows the doctor to pump air into your colon. The air inflates the colon, which provides a better view of the lining of the colon. When the scope is moved or air is introduced, you may feel abdominal cramping or the urge to have a bowel movement.
The colonoscope also contains a tiny video camera at its tip. The camera sends images to an external monitor so the doctor can study the inside of your colon. The doctor can also insert instruments through the channel to take tissue samples (biopsies) or remove polyps or other areas of abnormal tissue.
A colonoscopy typically takes about 20 minutes to an hour.
Colonoscopy allows exploring the subject of diseases of the following organs:
- The rectum.
- All parts of the segmented intestine.
- Distal part of the small intestine, in some variations of organs anatomical structure.
Colonoscopy is most informative for diagnosis of the segmented intestine diseases. There are special methods for diagnosis of the small intestine and rectum.
Colonoscopy is contraindicated in these pathological conditions:
- Severe hypertensive disease.
- Cardiopulmonary failure.
- Suffer from acute disorders of cerebral circulation.
- In peritonitis in last 30 days.
- Blood-clotting disorder
- Severe ulcerative and ischemic colitis.
- Adhesive disease of the abdominal organs.