Cancer is the number one killer in Singapore with 9324 reported incidences of diagnosed colorectal cancer between 2014 and 2014.
Affecting the large intestine and rectum, colonoscopy is the most obvious for detection and diagnosis. It involves the insertion of a flexible tube, with a miniature camera and light source, into the anus, rectum, and colon for examining the walls for any abnormalities and mostly done under sedation.
Before undergoing the procedure one must enquire if the colonoscopy doctor is a gastroenterologist. This is because they specialize in gastroenterological disease and are more likely to spot abnormalities.
Although colonoscopy is associated with the risk of perforation in the colon, for expert doctors it is very rare. So, one should also ask the number of colonoscopies performed and incidences perforations.
Polyp removal is another important matter than one should ask. Polyps of reasonable sizes are removed by expert doctors during the process.
A Guide to Colonoscopy
The incidence of Colorectal Cancer is steadily increasing and it has turned to be the most common cancer in Singapore in recent years making colonoscopy vital for examining the internal organs.
Preparing for a colonoscopy involves a minimum of six hours fasting before the procedure and medication are given to clear up bowels. Generally, there is no ban on taking regular medicines except diabetes medicines during fasting. Mild sedation is also administered to make the patient sleepy.
The patient is asked to lie on the side, with the legs curled up. The colonoscopy doctor inserts the colonoscope into the anus, rectum and through to the colon. Generally, the procedure does not take more than 30 minutes and the patient does not feel anything. If required, biopsy, polypectomy, argon-plasma-coagulation, etc are performed by passing instruments through the gastroscope.
Colonoscopy is a safe procedure with very rare incidences of perforation in the intestinal wall. The patient is kept in the recovery room for some time before release.
Is colonoscopy painful?
A colonoscopy is the most effective way of managing colorectal cancer, and most of the Singaporeans are now undergoing the procedure for screening and prevention of the dreaded condition.
In case you are having second thoughts about whether it hurts, the reality is that the patients are usually given sedatives before starting the procedure. It makes them so drowsy that they do not feel or remember anything after the procedure is completed.
A colonoscopy doctor or a gastroenterologist performs this as they specialize in GI tract issues. A flexible tube is inserted through the anus for examining the internal organs. If polyps are present, they are removed during the process.
Some patients have a feeling of headache and nausea after colonoscopy. Very few of them complain about bloating and mild abdominal cramping. Mild discomfort and little bleeding are experienced if a biopsy is performed during a colonoscopy.