Colonoscopy (Diagnostic and Therapeutic)
Colonoscopy involves the examination of the colon and the distal part of the small bowel (Terminal ileum) with a small camera on a flexible tube passed through the anus. Visual diagnosis of pathology such as inflammation or polyps and allows the opportunity for biopsy or removal of suspicious lesions.
Indications for colonoscopy include bleeding (or iron deficiency or decreased haemoglobin), change in bowel habit and screening for malignancy. Colonoscopy is used to diagnose colon cancer and can play a part in diagnosing inflammatory bowel disease.
Faecal occult blood testing is an examination which tests for microscopic traces of human blood in the stool. A positive test should be followed by a colonoscopy. In most cases the cause is obvious (haemorrhoids or anal fissure) More serious conditions are sometimes found such as diverticulosis, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis), polyps or even colon cancer.
Polypectomy can be performed if polyps are diagnosed reducing the need for surgery.
Routine screening colonoscopy is advocated for all people who are over 50 years of age. Follow up screening depends on the findings at initial colonoscopy with a three, five, or eight year follow up being common. Patients with a family history of colon cancer are first screened ten years younger than the sentinel family case. Patients who have a normal initial colonoscopy have a very low risk of developing colorectal cancer within five years.
How to prep for a colonoscopy:
INSTRUCTIONS FOR BOWEL PREPARATION WITH PICOPREP (MORNING)INSTRUKSIES VIR KOLON VOORBEREIDING MET PICOPREP (OGGEND)INSTRUCTIONS FOR COLON PREPARATION WITH PICOPREP (AFTERNOON)KOLON VOORBEREIDING MET PICOPREP (MIDDAG)