A colonoscopy is the most accurate way of looking at the large bowel to confirm whether there is any disease
present.  This is accomplished by inserting a flexible tube that is about the thickness of a finger into the anus,
and then advancing it slowly, under visual control, into the rectum and through the colon. It is performed with
the visual control of either looking through the instrument or with viewing a TV monitor.

This test may be done for a variety of reasons. Most often it is done to investigate the finding of blood in the
stool, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, a change in the bowel habits, or an abnormality found on colon x- ray
or a CT scan.

A colonoscopy also allows the surgeon to take samples of tissue for further examination and to remove
polyps (which are like small cherries) that can grow on the bowel wall.  Some polyps may turn into malignant
cancer over a period of time and removing them when benign eliminates the risk.

Prior to the procedure patients will be given bowel preparation to drink in order to empty the colon facilitating a colonoscopy.

A colonoscopy is performed as a day-case procedure.  Colonoscopy is performed under sedation and a strong pain killer is also administered.  Following a colonoscopy, patients are not permitted to drive for 24 hours.

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