Colonoscopy is basically a test that will let you and your doctor know the exact problems or abnormalities associated with your colon (large intestine) or rectum. During this procedure, a long flexible tube is inserted into your rectum with a tiny camera at the tip of the tube. This way, your doctor can have a thorough view of the inside of your entire colon to see the underlying cause of the problem.
It is also called as colonoscopy and is an endoscopic examination of the large bowel and the part of the small bowel with a CCD camera or fiber-optic camera. This flexible tube is gently passed through your anus for proper inspection.
When can you resume work after the colonoscopy?
You can be back to normal life and your usual chores within 24 hours of the procedure because it is considered a perfect time for the sedation to wear off.
Is the procedure painful?
No. The procedure is not usually painful. Most of the patients are given sedatives before the procedure. Yes, you may feel a bit gassy and some cramps due to wind as doctors introduce air into your bowel during the procedure as a requirement.
Purpose of colonoscopy
If you are older than 45:
Many of the colorectal cancer cases are observed in and after the late 40s. So, it is better if you get a regular screening of yourself once you cross 40 or 45. The unavoidable sedentary lifestyle and ultra-processed foods increase the risk of colorectal cancer after an age.
If you are older than 40 and have a family history of colon cancer:
In some people, colon cancer or colon polyps has a hereditary history. If you have many family members affected by colon diseases, then your chances are even greater. So, it is better to go for colonoscopy in this case.
If you notice any change in your bowel movements including pain and bleeding:
If you have a persistent bowel obstruction and symptoms seem fishy, you should go for colonoscopy screening. This might come out with some results indicating colon infections or polyps. Bowel movement problems if getting chronic might lead to colon issues later. And this way, the reason could also be known.
If you have a feeling that your bowel isn’t emptying:
The feeling that your guts are not feeling free of any or some waste might bring the feeling of discomfort if continues. And this could be some underlying sign of an infection that can be detected through colonoscopy before following some treatment. (Also read: Anatomy of colon and Rectum)
Pencil thin stool, weakness and fatigue:
If you feel this condition continues for some days then you should go for colonoscopy as it will exactly detect what is wrong with your colon. Pencil thin stool can be a sign of narrowing or obstruction of the colon due to colon cancer. So, the purpose of colonoscopy here will be to determine the cause for the same.
To look for signs of cancer and other problems:
This is the major purpose of colonoscopy any day. So, you should always keenly observe colon related symptoms that seem to be a little unusual and get yourself proper screening.
Chronic constipation, or diarrhea:
Sometimes, the reason for chronic bowel disorders is not known. And for this, colonoscopy can be conducted to know if there are any cysts or tumors that obstruct your bowel health. (Also read: How chronic constipation affects your body)
Examine symptoms of pain or bleeding located in the abdominal area:
If you observe red-colored or very dark colored poop, that might be high time to get a screening by colonoscopy. If you feel throbbing pain from a long time and tar-like stool, then there are possibilities that these might be the symptoms of colon cancer. Colonoscopy can detect the exact cause of it. (Also read: Things stool say about your health)
Cost of colonoscopy in India:
The cost of colonoscopy in India is ₹ 2,600 to ₹12,000 in the private sector and 350 to 850 INR in the government sector.
There are several stages of preparation before colonoscopy. So, here are three segments of spans where you can get a gist of how to prepare yourself before the screening. (Also read: Colonoscopy for piles)
7 days before colonoscopy:
A week before colonoscopy, you should:
- Continue with your aspirin medication.
- Contact your doctor who is going to perform colonoscopy and tell him all about the medications you are ingesting.
- Refrain from taking any type of iron supplements.
3 days before colonoscopy:
Before three days of your screening, you should stop consuming nuts, any fruits containing small seeds, tomatoes, corn, popcorn and celery.
The day before colonoscopy:
These are some points you need to consider just before the day of your screening.
- Have at least 8 glasses of water to avoid dehydration in any case.
- Get on a clear liquid diet as instructed by your doctor.
- In noontime at a prescribed time, take 2 Dulcolax tablets with the instructed quantity of water and place it in the fridge. No need to add ice. (Only take as prescribed by your surgeon*)
- Drink the mixture of Gatorade/Miralax solution in one glass every 15 minutes between 5-6 pm until half of the mixture is gone. You can set a timer for every 15 minutes to maintain regularity.
- You might need to stay near the toilet as you may have diarrhea.
5 hours before your screening
- Try to wake up early and have the final liter of the solution 5 hours before your procedure.
- Do not have any kinds of solid foods, broth or jello.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions if you take some medicines for your diabetes. You have to complete your morning mandatory medication (as instructed by your doctor) before 4 hours of your appointment time with a small amount of water.
2 hours before the colonoscopy
- Stop everything by mouth including chewing gum, smoking and even liquids.
(Also read: Types of colon surgeries)
In the end, you need to follow all the instructions that your doctor asks you to follow. Colonoscopy is a procedure in which 5-7 days prior diet matters a lot. If you follow everything as per the guidance, you will have a clear and yellow liquid stool and you are all set for colonoscopy. Expect a sudden urge to run to the toilet as having diarrhea after colonoscopy is quite normal.
In case you are suffering from hemorrhoids, you can use the prescribed cream. You may also feel anal skin irritation. Use over-the-counter medication such as some creams and baby wipes. You can expect some discomfort associated with screening which is quite normal. So relax and just follow the prescription and instructions by your doctor strictly. Still, if you think you want to know more about the procedure from an experienced doctor, you can consult online or drop us query our medical coordinators will get back to you.
(Disclaimer: Do as instructed by the healthcare provider or your medical experts. Take medicine and solution according to their prescription. The solutions mentioned in the blog may not be suitable for everyone. Therefore, ask your doctor before taking anything.)
Also read: Some facts about colonoscopy