What is a Colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a camera that is put through your through your anus in order to get a good look at your large bowel.
If you’ve had a change of bowel habits, if you’ve had bleeding or if you’ve had funny abdominal pains and you’re worried about colon or rectal problems a colonoscopy is the gold standard test to see if there’s anything wrong.
A private colonoscopy with Midlands Colorectal will involve a camera that we place through your anus to look around your bowel. Before your colonoscopy, you will have some bowel prep. This is in the form of a strong laxative medication that you will take in order to clear your bowels out. Usually, you’ll have that that the day and a half before the procedure. This is time you will need really need to be off work so you can ensure you are as close to a toilet as possible.
Who should have a screening Colonoscopy?
Over in America patients have a screening colonoscopy from the age of fifty onwards, however, in this country screening colorectal cancer screening is offered from the age of sixty onwards. However, that isn’t a colonoscopy that is a stool test that if it is positive, you go on to have a colonoscopy. There is also bowel scope screening in this country which is a short test look at the left side of your bowel a test known as a flexible sigmoidoscopy.
Midlands Colorectal would recommend that the gold standard test to screen your bowel, to rule out polyps and cancers once and for all is a colonoscopy. There is increasing evidence in that the general population should have a screening colonoscopy at the age of forty. This is not something that is currently offered on the NHS which is why a private colonoscopy such as the ones provided at Midlands Colorectal are so important.
Is a colonoscopy the right procedure for me?
In general, a colonoscopy is a very safe test to look at your bowel to ensure that there are no concerns. A private colonoscopy with Midlands Colorectal can look for inflammation we can look for polyps, as well as wear and tear or diverticular disease and we can exclude cancer.
With a colonoscopy, there is a small risk of bleeding – particularly if samples were taken. There is an even smaller risk of perforating or making a hole in the bowel – this is in the region of 1 in 1500. A small proportion of these patients may need surgery to fix the hole.
There are alternatives to a colonoscopy and the most commonly used alternative is a CT colonoscopy or virtual colonoscopy. This is a less invasive procedure but we can’t take biopsies and in general this type of procedure is regarded as an inferior test to rule have all everything that a colonoscopy can screen for.