What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is done on an outpatient basis, which means hospital stay is not necessary. This procedure is done using a thin tube with a camera attached to the end, which presents images on a screen which allow Dr Muthambi to get a better view of the internal organs, in this case, the colon and intestine.
Why would a colonoscopy procedure be recommended?
This procedure may be needed and recommended if you are suffering from a gastrointestinal condition for which treatment has not worked. Issue such as colon cancer, unexplained change in bowel habits, pain in the abdomen, or sudden weight loss. Those who are over the age of 50 are recommended to have a colonoscopy regularly to screen for colon cancer.
How is it done?
A colonoscopy is done on an outpatient basis, and therefore you will not need to be admitted into the hospital. Before the colonoscopy, Dr Muthambi will give you instructions regarding your eating and cleaning of the colon to prepare for the procedure. The procedure is done by administering a sedative to keep you relaxed as the procedure is done while you are awake. Although uncomfortable, this procedure is not painful. By lying on your side and bending your knees, the thin tube will be inserted into the anus. The tube is then slowly guided through the intestine. Carbon dioxide may be used to inflate the colon to see the walls of the large intestine better. A biopsy may also be done during your colonoscopy to test the tissue for abnormalities if Dr Muthambi feels necessary.
What will happen after the procedure?
Following a colonoscopy, you may experience gas and bloating from the carbon dioxide, little blood in the stool as well as pain when coughing or laughing. These symptoms are normal. If a biopsy of the colon tissue is taken, results may take a few days. It is essential to contact Dr Muthambi if you experience any of the following symptoms as emergency care may be needed:
- High temperature or chills
- Swelling around the incisions
- Bleeding from the wound
- Extreme pain
What are the potential risks and complications of a colonoscopy?
The risks during this procedure are rare, but perforation of the colon and bleeding may occur and cause infection, which would require follow-up surgery to repair.