Our goal at GIDOCJHB is to deliver prompt access to appointments, diagnostic services, and procedures that are tailored to your requirements.
Dr. Schneider is conveniently located at Milpark hospital and provides an innovative, quality-driven and patient-focused service from initial consultation, careful diagnosis, therapy, and advanced colonoscopy.
We pride ourselves on communication, accessibility, quality, and care.
At Gi Doc Johannesburg, we are dedicated to providing excellent, efficient and affordable care.
To achieve this, we strive to continually improve our practice through patients’ feedback, research, and innovation.
What Happens During a Colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a quick and painless procedure, usually around 30 minutes long, that allows for the full examination of the entire inner lining of a patient’s bowel (colon and rectum).
During the procedure, a gastroenterologist uses an instrument called the colonoscope to perform a colonoscopy.
It is a long, thin, flexible (the scope bends) fiberoptic camera that allows the specialist to visualize the entire colon.
With this thin instrument, the gastroenterologist spends most of the time looking for changes to the normal landscape of your bowel lining and removes anything that looks suspicious, like growths called polyps.
Polyps can be detected and removed before they develop into bowel cancer during a colonoscopy, and bowel cancer, if present, can be diagnosed.
The patient will be sedated and laid on the side with the knees tucked forward.
Air is then used to slightly inflate the colon to straighten out the colon lining, allowing the gastroenterologist to carefully examine it with the colonoscope.
The colonoscopy is typically performed while you are under a general anesthetic.
Why a Colonoscopy is Performed
A gastroenterologist may recommend a colonoscopy to:
A colonoscopy is one of the most effective methods to evaluate abnormalities within the bowel, including cancer, chronic constipation, chronic diarrhea, pus or mucus in the stools, inflammation, rectal bleeding, unexplained abdominal pain, polyps, and other intestinal problems.
Everyone over the age of 50 who is at average risk of colon cancer should get a colonoscopy once every 10 years.
If you’re at an increased risk, you may need more frequent procedures.
A diagnostic colonoscopy is also recommended if you experience symptoms suggestive of bowel cancer for two weeks or more, or if you receive a positive fecal immunochemical test (FIT) result.
Generally, a colonoscopy is a very safe procedure and poses few risks. Rarely, complications of a colonoscopy may include;
- A reaction to the sedative
- Bleeding from the site where a tissue sample (biopsy) was taken or a polyp or other abnormal tissue was removed
- A tear in the colon or rectum wall (perforation)
After discussing the risks of colonoscopy with you, your doctor will ask you to sign a consent form authorizing the procedure.
How Do I Prepare for a Colonoscopy?
To have a successful colonoscopy, you must have a clean colon.
Your gastroenterologist will give you instructions for a “bowel prep.” You must have a clear liquid diet for 24 to 72 hours before your procedure.
The typical bowel prep diet includes:
- Sports drinks
Your gastroenterologist may give you a laxative to take the night before your appointment.
They’ll likely advise you to use an enema to flush out your colon the day of the procedure.
Make sure not to drink any liquids containing red or purple dye because they can discolor your colon.
What if the Colonoscopy Shows Something Abnormal?
If your gastroenterologist thinks an area needs further evaluation, he or she might pass an instrument through the colonoscope to obtain a biopsy (a small sample of the colon lining) to be analyzed.
It’s important to remain calm even if you think the result will be negative. Your gastroenterologist will discuss what he saw with you once he accurately has a proper diagnosis.
After a Colonoscopy
After the procedure, it is not uncommon for patients to experience some discomfort due to the air used to inflate the colon, but this tends to be mild and only temporary.
Patients are often allowed to leave the hospital within a couple of hours.
However, as it might take several more hours for the effects of the sedative to completely wear off, patients are usually advised to have someone accompany them by driving the patient home.
Unless otherwise instructed, you can return to your normal diet immediately after the colonoscopy.
However, alcohol, driving, regular outdoor activities, and the operation of heavy machinery must be avoided until after 24 hours following the colonoscopy.
If your gastroenterologist removes tissue or a polyp during a biopsy, they’ll send it to a laboratory for testing.
Your doctor will tell you the results when they’re ready, which is normally within a few days.
Long-Term Outlook After Colonoscopy
Colonoscopy procedures are generally very successful in terms of recovery time.
Any abdominal bloating, pain and flatulence will resolve within a couple of days.
These symptoms are caused by the gas that is pumped into the colon during the procedure.
You will need to see your doctor again to discuss the results of your colonoscopy. Treatment depends on the diagnosis.
When to Seek Medical Care for Colonoscopy Complications
Call your gastroenterologist for advice if any unexpected symptoms occur, including:
- Persistent nausea
- Persistent but minor bleeding
- Ongoing bloating and abdominal discomfort
We recommend going directly to the emergency room if the patient experiences any of the following:
Severe abdominal pain
Heavy bleeding from the anus (rectum)
For more information contact GiDDoc Johannesburg.