This procedure is a camera test that examines your large bowel.  It involves passing a telescopic tube (colonoscope) from your back passage around your large bowel.

Q: Why would I need the procedure?

There are many reasons why you may need this.  For example, it may be because you have a family history of bowel cancer.  Other reasons include having a low blood count secondary to low iron stores, passing blood in your bowel motions or symptoms such as abdominal pain.

Q: What does the procedure involve?

In order to view the large bowel adequately, we ask that you take bowel preparations the day before to clean out your bowel.  In addition you will need to have a modified diet which is composed of clear liquids the day before.

Q: What anaesthetic will I have and do I have a choice?

You will require some sedation to keep you confortable during the procedure.

Q: What are the possible complications and what are the chances that they will occur?

The main possible complication is the tube making a hole (perforation) in your intestine. This occurs <1% of the time. Should this occur you may require an operation to repair the perforation.  If biopsies are taken then there is a small risk of bleeding.

Q: What can I expect after the operation?

You should be able to go home on the same day.  You can resume work the following day.

Q: When will I see my surgeon for review?  

Depending on what is found, your appointment can be within 1 week or 1 month.