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Colonoscopy : Definition, Preparation, Indications and Risk

Monday, August 27th 2012. | Endoscopies

Colonoscopy Definition

Colonoscopy can view the lower gastrointestinal tract.

Colonoscopy allows the device after introduction at the anus, move through the digestive tract without visual control.

This examination can view:

  • The rectum and the recto-sigmoid
  • The sigmoid colon,
  • The descending colon,
  • The transverse colon,
  • The ascending colon.

Colonoscopy requires very careful preparation and comprehensive essential reliability of the examination.


Colonoscopy (img thanks to cbc.ca)

What preparation?

Complete and thorough preparation is necessary for the examination is going well and is reliable

This preparation is divided between the night before and the morning of the exam. It consists of ingesting fast, in less than an hour, 2 times 2 liters of saline purgative.

This intake should allow to obtain clear and anal evacuations has no risk of overhydration. It is against-indicated in cases where a narrowing (stenosis) of the digestive tract is suspected. In this case, a cleansing enema is done to better prepare the colon.

Colonoscopy will be between two and four hours after preparation.

The day of the colonoscopy, the colon must be completely clean for the medical operator to properly view its walls. Otherwise, the examination is not interpretable.

Regime says no residues can be requested 48 hours before the exam.

The day of the exam must be strictly fasting (no drinking, no eating or smoking.) The colon must be completely clean.

We must therefore prepare for the exam by absorbing the night and morning, in less than an hour, twice two liters of saline purgative a special solution, which causes diarrhea.

If you take drugs, their effects may be modified by washing (this is the case for the pill), it will then think to ask the doctor about what to do.

A pre-anesthesia consultation is necessary: it is the point of all your other health problems or allergy potential.

What is a residue-free diet?

To promote the “washing” intestinal and improve the quality of the preparation, it is often recommended to follow a diet called “no residue” in two to three days before the exam.

Are prohibited dietary fiber that does not digest and linger in the intestines:

  • Vegetables, raw or cooked;
  • Fruits, raw or cooked, even mixed;
  • Whole grains: whole wheat bread, brown rice, and bran;
  • Meat or long tendon fibers (type stew).

Some foods that irritate the intestinal mucosa and may give a misleading appearance of inflammatory bowel disease are also prohibited:

  • Alcoholic beverages, fruit juices and soft drinks;
  • Charcuterie;
  • Fried;
  • Fermented cheeses (camembert, blue, goat, etc.)..

Are allowed:

  • Lean meats: grilled beef, rabbit, poultry (without skin), cooked ham;
  • Lean fish: hake, cod, whiting, bream, sole, trout;
  • Eggs (except fried egg);
  • Starchy foods: potatoes, rice, pasta, semolina, etc.., Cooked without fat;
  • White bread or, better, rusks;
  • Milk and dairy products such as yogurt, cottage cheese and hard cheese (Gruyere, Holland, etc.).
  • Sugar: white sugar, jelly and fruit jelly, honey, except chocolate and caramel.
  • Non-carbonated water, vegetable broths past tea or weak coffee, herbal teas;
  • Wine allowed in small quantities (a quart a day).

The day of the exam must be strictly fasting (no drinking, no eating or smoking.)

Which indications?

Colonoscopy has several advantages:

  • Display allows monitoring of the colon,
  • You can also practice during the examination of biopsy (removal of a piece of tissue for analysis)
  • You can also perform therapeutic procedures: removal of polyps achieve hemostasis (stopping bleeding), or expand a part of colon that would have a contraction.

How is this happening?

Colonoscopy requires hospitalization outpatient short.

Hospitalization for colonoscopy ranges from monitoring what hours a day.

The duration of the examination is a half-hour or so, plus where appropriate, the actions performed and the technical difficulties.

The apparatus used is called an endoscope, it consists of a flexible cable, a centimeter in diameter and five feet long, with an optical fiber and a mini-camera. It has a light source at one of its ends. It is connected to a video.

The exam is as follows:

  • The patient is lying on its side, legs slightly bent.
  • The gastroenterologist introduced the endoscope in the patient’s anus and then starts the display of the large intestine in full and takes all suspect tissue.
  • The insufflation gas helps relax the intestinal wall so that every inch is verified.

Only be injected anesthetics, intravenous access security will be retained until you leave the recovery room.

After the examination, you can eat and drink normally.

What are the risks?

This exam is usually safe.

Colonoscopy is an examination harmless from when it is performed by experienced physicians.

Light general anesthesia is practiced during the period of review : So you do not feel anything.

The endoscope can irritate the digestive walls.

The most serious complication is intestinal perforation but it remains exceptional.

There are regulations requiring sterilization of equipment between each intervention that eliminates the risk of infection, particularly hepatitis and HIV.

Practicing this review?

This is a gastroenterologist assisted by an anesthesiologist.

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