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Colonoscopy

Underlying Problem Requiring a Colonoscopy:
A colonoscopy is a procedure that doctors can use to find and diagnose problems in the colon and the distal part of the small bowel. It uses a small camera inserted through the anus in order to remotely view the internal structures of the digestive system. The colonoscopy is especially useful for finding ulcers and polyps, and it can also be an instrument for guiding doctors when they are performing biopsies or surgeries.

Treatment:

Before undergoing a colonoscopy, the patient must clear the bowel by following a low fiber or clear-fluid diet. He or she will then take a laxative preparation or undergo a whole bowel irrigation in order to remove any remaining solid matter. This will happen at home and will require the patient to use the bathroom often.

On the day of the procedure, the patient will often take a sedative. The endoscope is inserted through the rectum, into the colon. The area may be inflated to expand it and offer a clearer view to the doctor. During the procedure, he or she may take one or more biopsies, cauterize lesions, or remove entire polyps. The colonoscopy will generally take about 30 minutes but can be longer.

Recovery from a Colonoscopy:

If a patient is going to be sedated during the colonoscopy, then the hospital or clinic will likely require him or her to be driven home by another party. There will probably be some discomfort following the procedure, including 'wind pain' that is caused as a result of the inflation of the colon during the procedure. Patients can also expect to experience increased flatulence.

Doctors may recommend a patient undergo a colonoscopy for many reasons, including:
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage
  • Cancer Screening
  • Biopsies
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Changes in Bowel Habits

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