Colonoscopy is a test to examine the colon (large bowel). A fibre-optic, flexible telescope is used to examine the large bowel.
- The common indications for colonoscopy are change in bowel habits to diarrhoea or constipation, rectal bleeding, family history of bowel cancer, polyp surveillance, inflammatory bowel disease eg Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.
- The examination is performed under sedation as a day case procedure.
- It takes on average from 20 minutes to 45 minutes to perform the procedure.
- Colonoscopy requires full bowel preparation a day before the test (purging laxatives).
- It allows the endoscopist to take biopsies (tissue samples) and also remove polyps during the test.