What is colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is a procedure that examines the inside of your large bowel, called the “colon”. The colonoscope is a long flexible tube that is inserted into the rectum and gently manoeuvred around the colon. Colonoscopy allows the doctor to look for any abnormalities of the bowel lining, such as polyps and bowel cancer. It also provides an opportunity to sample the bowel (“biopsies”) as well as performing therapeutic procedures if required – such as removal of polyps, treatment of bleeding areas, or stretching of narrowed areas (“dilatation”).
Good clear views of the bowel are essential to enable the doctor to look for any abnormalities. To achieve this the bowel needs to be cleaned thoroughly. The accuracy of colonoscopy is highly dependent on the quality of your bowel preparation. It is important to carefully read and follow instructions for the bowel preparation that are provided. This will impact upon the quality of the examination.
Colonoscopy allows the doctor to look for abnormalities.
Day of the procedure
Please bring the following:
- Medicare card
- Private health fund
- Pension card, Veterans Affairs details (if applicable)
- Contact name and telephone number of the person taking you home
You will be requested to arrive at a specified time. Wear comfortable clothing.
The procedure will take approximately 30 minutes. Please plan to be at the hospital for two to three hours. Should polyps be found at the time of colonoscopy, it is advised that all polyps be removed at the time as it is difficult to predict if the polyps may progress to cancer.