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An endoscopy is a procedure in which a flexible telescope is used to look inside the large bowel (colon).

What is a colonoscopy?

In a colonoscopy, a consultant examines the inner lining of your large intestine (rectum and colon). When we examine the colon, we use a thin, flexible tube called a colonoscope.

What are the benefits of a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy helps identify conditions such as:

  • ulcers
  • colon polyps
  • tumours
  • areas of inflammation.
Is a colonoscopy right for me?

A colonoscopy can help to explore possible causes of:

abdominal pain

rectal bleeding

chronic constipation

chronic diarrhoea

other intestinal problems.

A colonoscopy may be recommended every 10 years, or sometimes sooner, for people over 50 who are at risk of colon cancer. It is possible to get colon cancer even if you do not have any other risk factors.

If you've already had polyps, a follow-up colonoscopy can find and remove any additional polyps. This is done to reduce your risk of colon cancer.

Preparing for your colonoscopy?

Before a colonoscopy, you'll need to clean out (empty) your colon. The colonoscope may not see the rectum clearly if the lining of your colon is not clear of solids or liquids.

Keep your colon clear by eating a low-fibre diet two days before your colonoscopy.

You will be asked to drink laxative sachets the day before your colonoscopy.

It is likely that you will probably get diarrhoea a few hours after taking the laxative so you may choose to be at home and near a toilet.

During your colonoscopy

During the procedure a flexible telescope into the back passage and blowing air into the large bowel in order to get a clear view. You may, if appropriate, be offered a sedative or painkiller.

This will allow the endoscopist to look for problems such as inflammation or polyps and perform biopsies in order to make a diagnosis.

Recovery after a colonoscopy

You may feel bloated but this will pass. If you were given a sedative you will normally recover within two hours. You should not drive for 24 hours so it would we'd suggest that you arrange for somebody to take you home. You should not drink alcohol or sign any legal documents for a period of 24 hours.

If you did not have a sedative you can carry on as normal and go home after your procedure.

Treatment Overview

Combining a calming hospital environment with outstanding patient care so you can recover as quickly as possible.

  • Average procedure duration 30 mins

  • Covered by health insurance? Yes

  • Can I pay privately? Yes

You’re in safe hands at Sulis Hospital.

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