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Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy

Overview

Colonoscopy implies the procedure that interior part of the entire colon and the rectum lumen are visualized and examined using a thin and flexible tube equipped with a camera in one end, called colonoscope.

Once the preparations written below are completed, the colonoscope is inserted through the anal canal and the rectum and the entire colon is examined. The procedure allows not only visualizing the colon, but it also allows removal of polyps or similar formations and collecting biopsy specimens from tissues where abnormalities are seen.

Colonoscopy is an outpatient treatment method used to evaluate your colon and rectum.

Your doctor may diagnose and treat some diseases of the lower gastrointestinal (GI) system, namely colon and rectum.

In a colonoscopy, your doctor can visualize the entire colon, ranging from the distal end of the small intestines to the rectum, and the rectum using the colonoscope, a flexible tube equipped with a camera, on a screen that is available in the colonoscopy room. The procedure is used to diagnose the causes of idiopathic blood in stool or the conditions that change bowel habits. Early signs of cancer are also investigated in the colon and the rectum. Colonoscopy allows the physician to see the inflamed tissues of the colon, abnormal growths, ulcers, and bleeding as well as spasms. If required, biopsy and tissue specimens can be collected.

Why is this procedure done?

Colonoscopy is performed to directly visualize the colon and the rectum of patients, who present with gastrointestinal complaints, reports changes in bowel habits, and patients with suspicious findings on stool analyses, laboratory tests and X-rays.

A gastroenterologist may consider colonoscopy to determine the causes of the colonic symptoms (stool in blood, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation).

Colonoscopy may identify focus of bleeding leading to idiopathic (unexplained) anemia, formation of a sac or a pouch, protruding into lumen, on the colonic wall, called diverticle, and ulcer on the colonic mucosa, tissue changes that appear different from healthy intestinal mucosa as well as abnormal growth of mucosa, called polyps.

Moreover, stenotic (narrow) segments can be found that cause changes in bowel habits.

Risks

It is very rare to face a complication during colonoscopy and they are usually easily managed, even if they develop. Drug reactions and bleeding at biopsy or polypectomy (removal of polyp) site are most common ones. The perforation of the colonic segment examined with colonoscopy is an extremely rare complication.

In the colonoscopy room, any and all necessary instrument, equipment and other means to manage the possible risks and complications are available.

Our specialists will employ all practices to minimize the risk of complications and our doctors will inform you about risks listed above and all other potential complications and will address all your concerns before the procedure.

Preparation

The colon should be clean and there should be no stool in the lumen in order to directly visualize lumen of the colon and the rectum with colonoscope.

For this purpose, your doctor and other healthcare professionals will place you on a special diet before the colonoscopy. In addition, medications will be prescribed that will empty your colon and you should take those drugs, as instructed. You will be given an information form, where all instructions are written that you should follow for proper preparation.

At the preparation phase, you need to notify all prescription and over-the-counter medications that you take to manage diabetes mellitus, hypertension, high blood lipids and cholesterol as well as other diseases and all vitamin and mineral supplements to your doctor. Your doctor will instruct medications that you should stop taking by consulting you with other specialist of our hospitals. Or, dose of those medications can be modified.

Since you will be sedated during the procedure, you will need a family member or a friend to drive you home after the procedure is completed and it is confirmed that your general health is stabilized. If it is not possible, you can seek help from healthcare professionals regarding your transfer to home.

Surgery and early postoperative period

After preparations are completed, you will be transferred to the colonoscopy room and be positioned on the procedure table.

Your doctor will administer a sedative agent and thus, you will not feel the procedure. Sedative agents will help you relax and fall into a nap. Accordingly, feeling of cramp or defecation that are caused by the procedure is minimized.

Your vital signs are checked throughout the procedure.

Once you are properly positioned on the table, the colonoscope will be inserted into your rectum and advanced to the junction of the small intestine and the colon, if the colonic cleansing allows. The images captured by the camera in one end of the colonoscope can be watched on a monitor found in the procedure room. In a colonoscopy, the wall of the entire colon and the mucosa lining the colonic lumen are examined. If an abnormality is faced, a biopsy specimen can be collected for further examination. Or, a polyp or a diverticula-like formation can be removed. In other words, colonoscopy is a procedure that allows examination, diagnosis and treatment.

After the colonoscopy procedure is completed, you will be closely monitored in a room until the effects of sedation disappear. You will be discharged after it is confirmed that your health is stabilized.

Before you are discharged, your doctor may make dietary recommendations and prescribe medications. You should strictly follow instructions of your doctor in order to prevent risks and to maximize the comfort after the procedure.

A family member or a friend should drive you home, as you are administered sedative agent. If it is not possible, you can seek help from healthcare professionals regarding the transportation.

Distension, frequently passing gas, low amount of blood in stool and mild abdominal cramps are expected symptoms you may experience during colonoscopy. However, if you notice abundant blood or clot in stool or feel insufferable abdominal pain, contact your doctor or visit the closest healthcare facility.

Results

All findings observed in a colonoscopy and pathological examination of biopsies and polyps are documented in a report.


The underlying cause of your digestive system complaints is determined in the light of colonoscopic results. After the etiology is identified, appropriate treatment is started.


The risk of colorectal cancer is determined after biopsy specimens, polyps and diverticula are examined in our pathology laboratories. Your doctor will inform you about treatment, precautions and advices in the light of all findings.