Colonoscopy is the endoscopic examination of the colon and rectum. It is performed by introducing a flexible device, equipped with a video camera in its tip, which can be maneuvered and introduced under direct vision, usually to the end of the small intestine (terminal ileum).
At COLONO, we use Fujinon equipment, the world’s leading manufacturer of endoscopic equipment. All flexible equipment is reprocessed and decontaminated at high level (using ENDOLAV, an automatic reprocessing equipment), and then connected to a digital video processor that enables the generation of high quality images of the intestinal segments examined, and the fully digital processing of those images.
Performing a good colonoscopy requires a good bowel preparation, that is, proper cleansing. In general, the colon (which is the name we give to the large bowel) is filled with feces. The preparation helps its removal by means of laxatives that induce liquid diarrhea. There are several preparation possibilities that should be unique for each patient – there is no standardized preparation that works for everyone.
It is important to take into account the clinical conditions of each patient to choose the most suitable preparation for them. Individual factors such as age, medication use, health problems (diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, to name a few) should be taken into account by the prescriber, that’s why everyone needs a consult before undergoing the exam, so that the doctor who is going to perform your colonoscopy can get to know your individual needs and guide you to the correct preparation.
In addition, at Colono, you will leave the consult with written and detailed instructions on your preparation and the mobile phone number of the doctor who will perform your exam; so that if you have any questions, you can contact him directly.
On the day of your exam, you will go to the clinic with the bowel already prepared. As the test is done with sedation or, in some cases, general anesthesia – which can affect your ability to drive and cause you to feel sleepy even for hours afterwards – you should come to the clinic in the company of a person you trust, and who, preferably, drives. The average length of stay in the clinic is one and a half hours.
Colonoscopy is a very safe exam and can be performed in several ways: without sedation (a method widely used in Japan, for example), under general anesthesia, or under conscious sedation, the method we prefer, whenever possible.
When the colon is prepared for examination, it is usually empty, that is, withered. In order to have a good visualization of all its segments, the examiner must blow air into the colon during the exam. The discomfort experienced by the patient during the exam due to insufflation varies. When a patient choses general anesthesia, he usually feels nothing.
Many conditions or symptoms might lead to the indication of a colonoscopy, such as perceived or hidden bleeding in the stool, changes in a patient’s usual intestinal functioning (such as persistent diarrhea or constipation that cannot be explained by changes in diet), anemia without an apparent cause (such as changes in diet or physical activity), or even personal or family history of bowel polyps or bowel and rectum cancer.
There are also those who advise all individuals who have access to the exam to perform at least one colonoscopy after fifty years age.
Your doctor will be able to identify any of these factors and decide with you about the necessity of the exam.
Contact us to schedule your exam at Colono Clinic.