Colonoscopy is the endoscopic examination of the wide and final part of the small intestine. Here we present the basic principles for understanding the procedure – how it is performed, to which purpose it serves and what are the possible side effects. The text cannot provide answers to all of your questions, so if you require additional clarification, please ask your personal doctor, or the doctor who conducts the examination.
A colonoscopy can also be performed:
- UNDER ANALGOSEDATION (available in Bled unit) – where you are conscious but do not feel any pain. You may not drive vehicles for 24 hours after the analgosedation examination, so you will need an escort to get home.
- UNDER DEEP SEDATION (available in Novo mesto unit) – where propofol is used and you sleep during the examination.
Analgosedation and deep sedation is advised for those who are afraid of having a colonoscopy or whose condition complicates the performance of a colonoscopy. Please contact the Diagnostični center Bled’s customer service department for more information.
Basic information about the examination
Frequently asked questions
The indications for the colon examination are any unfounded bleeding of unknown origin, or blood trace in the stool, unexplained anaemia, disrupted rhythm of discharge, sudden constipation, alternating diarrhoea and constipation, unexplained abdominal pain, gurgling, bloating, weight loss, or hereditary predisposition for developing intestinal cancer ...
After normal procedure: approximately 1 hour to rest, and clearing the air from your colon after the procedure. In so far as the colonoscopy proceeded without complications or major interventions, the patient may start ingesting lighter meals.
Major surgeries (electroresections of polyps ...) require a 24-hour hospitalization for safety reasons. During this time you may only drink fluids. For the next 7 days at home you may only ingest light, overcooked food (potatoes, pasta ...) and unlimited amounts of fluids. It is recommended to rest (avoid major sporting activities, or lifting loads that weigh more than 3 kg).
If the procedure is followed by abdominal pain, stiff abdomen, fever, a larger amount of blood in the stool (1/2 dl) when you are already at home, you should immediately notify your physician or emergency doctor.
A flexible tube, the colonoscope, is inserted through the rectum and travels all the way to the end of the colon and examines a short segment of the small intestine. During the examination, which may be occasionally painful, patient's discomfort can be eased by breaking winds from the large intestine - flatulence is encouraged in this situation. In abdominal surgery patients and gynaecological patients, the procedure is expected to be more demanding due to scar tissue. The examination takes about half an hour.
For colonoscopy to be performed properly, clear images, and safe procedure, the entire colon must be completely free of solid matter before the procedure, and thoroughly cleaned. It is very important that, when preparing for the procedure, you follow the instructions that you received prior to the examination. Preparation is with a medicinal product Moviprep. Partially or in full you will prepare on it at home, so it is really important that you carefully read the instructions that you will receive.
If you are receiving anticoagulants (anticoagulant or antiplatelet therapy), which increase the risk of bleeding, consult your doctor about taking these medications prior to the examination. You should also consult the doctor about taking the medications for diabetes, or whether you need to take antibiotic before the exam.
In the morning, with a little water, take your usual medications, except from those which you had to stop taking because of the examination.
We recommend that you do not plan for any longer trips for 2-3 weeks after the examination.
Biopsies of altered mucosa, electroresections of polyps, coagulation of vascular abnormalities.