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A Colonoscopy is a procedure performed to visualise the colon and rectum using a flexible camera. It is used to diagnose disease of the bowel, and common symptoms which may be investigated using this procedure may include:

  • Altered bowel habit

  • Abdominal pain

  • Anaemia

  • Rectal bleeding

  • Positive Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT)

  • Abnormalities on scans (eg CT) which need further investigation

  • Surveillance for polyps, colon cancer or family history of colon cancer, or inflammatory bowel disease

  • Others

What is involved with this procedure?

Before the procedure takes place, the bowel is prepared (emptied) in the 24-hours prior to the procedure to aid visualisation of the lining of the bowel.

During the colonoscopy, samples (biopsies) may be taken if abnormal tissue is encountered, polyps removed, or haemorrhoids banded - depending on the indication for the procedure and any discussions you may have had with Mr MacLeod prior to the procedure. Prior to discharge, arrangements are made for a follow up appointment with either Mr MacLeod or with your local GP to discuss the results of the colonoscopy.

How long does the procedure take?

The procedure usually takes about 20-minutes to perform and is undertaken in an operating theatre or endoscopy suite under sedation. It is usually performed as a “day procedure”, which means you are only in hospital for the day. From time to time, patients may be admitted the day prior or stay overnight following the colonoscopy depending on individual circumstances.

Prior to your colonoscopy, Mr MacLeod or a member of the surgical team will speak to you regarding the procedure, its risks and answer any questions you have. Although colonoscopy is a common procedure to undertake, like any medical procedure it does come with small risks, which include – Bleeding, bowel injury (perforation – 1:1000 risk), incomplete colonoscopy, missed pathology (rare), adverse reactions or dehydration from the bowel preparation and anaesthetic risks. Colonoscopy is only recommended when the benefit of the procedure outweighs the risk, but if you have any questions or concerns regarding this procedure you are welcome to discuss your options with Mr MacLeod.