What is an endoscopy?

Endoscopy is a procedure that allows your surgeon to examine the lining of the oesophagus, stomach, duodenum or the colon. Gastroscopy is endoscopy of the upper gastrointestinal tract (oesophagus, stomach, and the first part of the small intestine). Colonoscopy is endoscopy of the large intestine.

Do I need special preparation for a colonoscopy?

For the colonoscopy to be successful dietary change and taking bowel preparation prior to the colonoscopy is necessary to empty the colon. The quality of your bowel preparation will determine the quality and accuracy of your colonoscopy. Poor bowel preparation will significantly hinder the usefulness of the test and failure to complete bowel preparation may lead to cancelation of your procedure

For bowel preparation instructions, click here.

What is a colonoscopy? And why do I need one?

Colonoscopy is the procedure that allows your surgeon to examine the inside of the colon (large intestine) using a flexible tube inserted via the rectum.

It can be used as a screening tool for colonic polyps or cancer.

It can also be used to investigate the cause of symptoms and signs such as:

  • Rectal bleeding
  • Occult (unseen) blood in the stool
  • Anaemia
  • Diarrhoea or constipation
  • Abdominal pain

What are the possible complications of a colonoscopy?

Colonoscopies are relatively safe procedures with very low risk of complications.

  • The risk of perforation is 4 in 10,000. This will require hospitalization and antibiotics and occasionally requires surgery to repair the perforation
  • Excessive bleeding is extremely rare following diagnostic colonoscopy but can occur following polypectomy (removal of a polyp) in about 3% of cases. Bleeding can occur immediately after polypectomy and it can be controlled at the time with a clip. However, bleeding can also manifest itself clinically up to one week after the colonoscopy
  • Post-polypectomy syndrome is a spectrum of symptoms and signs including abdominal pain and tenderness and fever mimicking colonic perforation. Those can often be treated with antibiotics