Colonoscopy is a medical imaging test where your doctor examines the lining of your large intestine or colon for abnormalities or inflammation, by inserting a thin, flexible tube, as thick as your finger, into the anus. and slowly advancing it through the rectum and colon. This instrument, called an endoscope or colonoscope, consists of a thin and flexible tube 1.5 to 2 m long connected to optical fibers or to a miniature camera, and to a light source to allow your doctor to view the real-time images on a video monitor. In addition, it allows for the insertion of instruments, forceps or an electrosurgical unit to perform biopsies, ablations or remove polyps. The samples collected will then be analyzed in the laboratory to determine the nature of the anomaly. After that, your doctor can start the appropriate treatments.
Among the various medical conditions affecting the large intestine and colon, is colorectal cancer which is considered the third most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in Canada, with an estimated mortality rate of 12% of all cancer deaths, which represents a fairly high mortality rate. This is why colonoscopy is recommended not only to assess symptoms such as bleeding and diarrhea but also to check for possible colorectal cancer. Colonoscopy saves lives in this regard.
In Canada, colonoscopy for colon cancer is usually done at age 50. However, it can be done earlier for some people at higher risk. In all cases, consult your doctor without delay as soon as you notice:
Other symptoms may cause your doctor to order a colonoscopy during your medical consultation. It is therefore important that you maintain optimal gut health.
In fact, during the medical consultation, your doctor will explain all the stages of colonoscopy to you. Note that this requires a certain cooperation from you and compliance with the letter of your doctor’s recommendations which we summarize in the table below: Preparation for a colonoscopy usually includes the following indications:·
Your doctor will give you other instructions depending on the time of your colonoscopy. Please comply with them otherwise you risk compromising the results of the colonoscopy.
Colonoscopy is performed at our clinics in Montreal and Gatineau. Its duration varies from 15 to 45 minutes. It’s not a painful exam. But make sure you have someone with you first, since you will usually not be able to drive after the test due to the sedative being given. You have the option to receive an intervenous sedative to relieve discomfort. You will be asked to lie on your left side and raise your legs. The doctor puts the colonoscope through the anus and slowly and slowly moves it up the rectum and then into the colon. Air will be blown into the colon to allow the doctor to better examine the walls.If necessary, the doctor may insert instruments into the colonoscope to take a biopsy, stop bleeding, or remove polyps.Cramping or a feeling of having a bowel movement is possible, and you may hear and feel gas coming out of the colonoscope.
After the test, you will still feel the effects of the sedative. You will be placed in a place to rest while the effects of the sedation wear off. You may still have abdominal cramps and gas. You should not drive or operate machinery for 24 hours after the exam.When you get home, continue to drink enough fluids to replace the fluids that you have lost but avoid drinking alcohol.Remember to ask your doctor when you can resume your medication and your usual diet.
Colonoscopy is not a painful test and is usually a safe test. However, there are some common side effects that may occur after the test:
Some rare side effects are more serious such as:
Our UnionMD clinics in Montreal and Gatineau offer you the colonoscopy procedure in private. Trust our doctors to have a colonoscopy safely in a professional, warm and welcoming environment. Call us without delay to make an appointment at 514-400-3291.