UNDERSTANDING OUR PROCEDURES

It can be helpful to understand how colonoscopy procedures work before you arrive for your own screening. Please review the details of our procedures below:

Colonoscopy

A colonoscopy is an examination of the entire colon, or large intestine. The procedure is performed using a colonoscope, a specialized flexible video transmitting tube which is inserted into the rectum and can be moved through the full length of the colon. The colonoscope is about one and a half meters in length and about the width of a large finger. Images from the examination are transmitted to a video monitor and carefully inspected by the doctor. Abnormalities seen by the doctor can be captured photographically and samples taken (biopsies) for examination by a pathologist (a doctor specializing in examining tissue for abnormalities).

To have the procedure, you will need to prepare, or “clean out” the bowel. Detailed instructions for the preparation process will be provided to you at booking of the colonoscopy or viewed online at TCC-clinic.com. In general, a colonoscopy is a very safe procedure but as with any invasive medical procedure, there are some inherent risks. The most serious risk associated with a colonoscopy is a complication known as perforation, or creating a hole in the bowel, which may require surgery to repair. The rate of this complication is between 1:2000 to 1:3000.

Colonic Polyps

Polyps are small growths that can form on the inner surface of the colon, they may be flat or raised dome shape structures. If not removed, some types of polyps may continue to grow and can develop into colon cancer. If the doctor detects a polyp during your colonoscopy, he/she may remove it with a snare, a thin wire that cuts off the polyp, or using a biopsy forcep. The polyp is collected and sent for examination by a pathologist. You will need to see your doctor in follow up to discuss the results of the polyp examination.

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy/EGD/Gastroscopy

An EGD is a visual examination of your esophagus, stomach and duodenum (or upper part of your intestinal tract) using similar equipment to the colonoscopy, only with a smaller caliber and shorter scope. The endoscope is about 1 meter long and about the caliber of a pen. This procedure may be necessary due to your symptoms suggesting abnormalities of the upper GI tract. Biopsies of your esophagus, stomach, and/or duodenum may be necessary during the procedure, depending on your symptoms, or findings by the doctor during the scope. This procedure is generally safe with a very small chance of bleeding due to the biopsy taken.

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