Saturday, 8 April 2017

Colonoscopy information

You have been advised by your GP or hospital doctor to have an investigation known as a colonoscopy.

Why do I need to have a colonoscopy?

  • You may have been advised to undergo this investigation of your large bowel to try and find the cause for your symptoms, help with treatment, and if necessary, to decide on further investigation. 
  •  Follow-up inspection of previous disease
  •  Assessing the clinical importance of an abnormality seen on an x-ray.  
  • A CT Colonogram examination is an alternative investigation to colonoscopy. It has the disadvantage that samples of the bowel cannot be taken if an abnormality is found. If this is the case a subsequent endoscopic examination may be required.
What is a colonoscopy?
This test is a very accurate way of looking at the lining of your large bowel (colon), to establish whether there is any disease present. This test also allows us to take tissue samples (biopsy) for analysis by the pathology department if necessary. 

The instrument used in this investigation is called a colonoscope, (scope) and is flexible. Within each scope is an illumination channel which enables light to be directed onto the lining of your bowel, and another which relays pictures back, onto a television screen. This enables the endoscopist to have a clear view and to check whether or not disease or inflammation is present. 

During the investigation the endoscopist may need to take some samples from the lining of your colon for analysis: this is painless. The samples will be retained. A video recording and/or photographs may be taken for your records.

Preparing for the investigation
Eating and drinking
 It is necessary to have clear views of the lower bowel
Two days before your appointment 
 You will need to be on a low fibre diet and considerably increase your fluid intake. A diet sheet is included with the laxative sent to you.

One day before
  • You should take clear fluids only (no solid food) e.g. glucose drinks, Bovril, black tea and coffee with sugar, clear soups and fruit jelly. 
  •  In addition you will need to take a laxative which should have arrived with this booklet along with clear instructions on how to administer it. If you have any queries do not hesitate to contact the endoscopy unit and someone will assist you
On the day of the examination
You may continue taking clear fluids until you attend for your appointment.

What about my medication?
Routine Medication
Your routine medication should be taken 
If you are taking iron tablets you must stop these one week prior to your appointment. If you are taking stool bulking agents (e.g. Fybogel, Regulan, Proctofibe), Loperamide (Imodium) Lomotil or Codeine Phosphate you must stop these two days prior to your appointment.

If you are diabetic controlled on insulin or medication, please ensure the Endoscopy department is aware so that the appointment can be made at the beginning of the list

Please telephone the unit if you are taking anticoagulants such as warfarin, clopidogrel (Plavix), Rivaroxaban or Dabigatran. Phone for information if you think you have a latex allergy.

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