Understanding colonoscopy and polypectomy

At Icon Specialist Centre we offer the latest in treatment methods and technologies to treat gastrointestinal and colorectal conditions.

Our experienced team of colorectal surgeons are dedicated to delivering exceptional care and supporting you through your diagnosis, treatment, and beyond.

Understanding colonoscopy and polypectomy

Ahead of your colonoscopy, it’s normal to feel a bit overwhelmed by the amount of new information people are sharing with you.

Knowing more about your procedure and what to expect before and after can help you prepare. The following information has been put together to help you understand your procedure and we hope to reduce any concerns you have.

We encourage you to speak to your doctor and care team, who are here to support you throughout your time at Icon.

We will always have time to talk to you and answer your questions.

What is a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a short procedure performed under monitored anaesthetic care (MAC) or intravenous sedation (IVS) to investigate or diagnose colorectal conditions including:

  • Colorectal cancer
  • Polyps
  • Diverticular disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis)
  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumour
  • Varices
  • Abnormal vascular lesions in intestine (e.g angiodysplasia)

The procedure is performed using a colonoscope to view the entire length of the bowel and investigate abnormal tissue or polyps.  It involves the insertion of a long, flexible tube with a camera, which includes a light, irrigiation and insufflation systems, into the anus through to the caecum or terminal ileum. Your colorectal surgeon may biopsy abnormal polyps or suspicious lesions present in the bowel walls for further examination. Using different accessory instruments, it can be used to both diagnose and treat a range of conditions through procedures such as biopsy (taking a tissue sample for further examination), polypectomy (removal of polyps), endoscopic dissection, haemostasis and stenting (to relieve obstruction).

Why is a colonoscopy performed?

Your colorectal surgeon may suggest a colonoscopy to investigate or diagnose colorectal conditions if you are over 50 years of age, have a personal history of colorectal cancer or inflammatory bowel disease or a family history of colorectal cancer. A colonoscopy may be performed for further investigation if you:

  • Receive a positive result from a faecal occult blood test
  • Experience any of the below:
    • Blood or mucus discharge from the rectum
    • Altered bowel habits
    • Tenesmus
    • Anaemia
    • A mass in the abdomen
    • Chronic diarrhoea or constipation

Common questions

It’s natural to want to know more about your procedure. We’ve included some common questions that patients ask about a colonoscopy to help you. Your treatment team at Icon can also answer any additional questions that you have at any point in time.

How do I prepare for a colonoscopy?

Prior to a colonoscopy, it is important to inform your doctor of any drug allergy, regular medications (e.g. oral hypoglycaemic drug, anti-coagulant, anti-platelet agent) or pre-existing medical condition (e.g. diabetes mellitus, hypertension, ischaemic heart disease, valvular heart disease, pacemaker in situ). If you are currently on blood thinners, these should be stopped prior to the colonoscopy as advised by your doctor.

To prepare for your colonoscopy, you will be required to follow a bowel preparation process to empty your bowel and fast for six hours prior to your procedure.

  • Diet – a low residue diet should be commenced three days before the colonoscopy, avoiding high fiber food such as vegetables, fruits, beans, cereals and dairy product. Stop iron supplements at least three to four days prior to procedure. On the day before the colonoscopy a fluid diet should be commenced (e.g. rice water, clear soup and fluid, avoiding dairy products).
  • Laxatives – finish the laxatives provided the night before or in the morning of the day of colonoscopy as prescribed by your doctor to empty the bowel
  • Fluids – it is recommended to drink clear fluids to avoid dehydration ahead of your procedure until six hours before the procedure
  • Medications – continue to take any prescribed medications unless advised otherwise by your doctor

Making an appointment

Find out how to make an appointment at IconSpecialist Centre, or request more information from your nearest centre.
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Care team

Every member of Icon’s team is here to help. Here are some of the team members you may meet and how they will be involved in your treatment.
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Our doctors

Icon brings together a strong and prominent team of medical specialists.
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