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A colonoscopy is a procedure where the inside of the colon is examined with a fibreoptic instrument. Prior to undergoing a colonoscopy, you must have your bowel prepared with a specific colonoscopy prep, which is taken the day before the procedure. You will also need to alter your diet 1-2 days leading up to the colonoscopy in order to allow for the procedure to be performed as safely as possible. The colon is examined for growths such as polyps or cancers. Polyps may be removed during the colonoscopy. The haemorrhoids are also examined, and if significant, they may be ligated with rubber bands.

Common reasons for colonoscopy include:

  • Rectal bleeding
  • Change in bowel habit
  • Positive faecal occult blood test (FOBT)
  • Family history of bowel cancer
  • Surveillance after treatment for bowel cancer
  • Colitis (inflammed bowel)
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Please click here for more information about preparation for colonoscopy and your diet prior to colonoscopy.

A colonoscopy allows Mr Bassari to look inside your colon. Colonoscopies are commonly performed for bowel cancer screening, rectal bleeding, inflammation of the colon, unexplained weight loss, change in bowel habit, etc.

Specific information for colonoscopy:

• You will need bowel preparation. This empties your colon of solid material and food residue so that a good view of inside your colon can be achieved. The bowel prep starts the day before your colonoscopy.

• Two days prior to your colonoscopy, you need to avoid high residue diet. You will be given an information sheet about what foods to avoid leading up to your colonoscopy. Or you can find this information on the website (link here)

• If you are on iron tablets, you will need to stop these 5 days prior to a colonoscopy

What are the complication?

Any procedure has risks and complication. They are rare but do occur. The main complications of colonoscopy include: • Bleeding. This risk is increased if biopsies are taken or if polyps are removed (polypectomy). The risk increases with the number of polyps removed.

• Perforation. The risk of making a hole in the colon is between 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 3,000.

• Aspiration. If your stomach is not empty prior to the procedure, it is possible that once you are sedated, the food in your stomach can come up and enter your lungs.

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Colonoscopy Melbourne
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