What is Colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a test used to detect unusual changes or any abnormalities in the large intestine which is the colon and the rectum. Colonoscopy provides the physician to directly image and examines the entire colon. Colonoscopy is very effective to diagnose and evaluate various diseases related to the colon such as colon polyps, colon cancer, changes in the bowel, diverticulosis, bleeding, inflammatory bowel disease, pain in the abdomen and obstructions. Colonoscopy can also be used for screening colon cancer. Colonoscopy technique has a key advantage which allows the imaging of abnormal findings and also therapy or removal of these lesions during the same examination. This technique is particularly helpful for identification and removal of precancerous polyps. While performing colonoscopy a long colonoscope is inserted into the rectum of the patient. A colonoscope is a long, thin and flexible tool which has a tiny video camera attached to the tip of it which provides the surgeon with the inside view of the entire colon. It is important to remove the polyps or other types of abnormal tissue removed through the scope during a colonoscopy. Sample tissues can also be taken during a colonoscopy for further examination.
Why is Colonoscopy performed?
The doctor may recommend a colonoscopy to patients in case of the following:-
- To investigate intestinal signs and symptoms: – A colonoscopy technique can help the doctor in exploring the possible causes of rectal bleeding, chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, chronic constipation or any other intestinal problems.
- To screen colon cancer: – Colonoscopy is one option for screening colon cancer.
- To look for more polyps: -The doctors may recommend a follow-up colonoscopy in case if the patient has had polyps before. Colonoscopy is recommended to look for additional polyps, remove any additional polyps and reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Advantages of Colonoscopy
- Colonoscopy allows the surgeon to view the rectum and the entire colon.
- While performing the colonoscopy the doctors can also perform biopsy or polypectomy during the procedure if necessary.
- Colonoscopy is a complete screening method available.
- Colonoscopy is one of the most sensitive tests which are available currently.
Disadvantages of Colonoscopy
- Colonoscopy may not detect all the small polyps, nonpolypoid lesions, and cancers.
- The accuracy of colonoscopy dependents on the skill of the doctor who is performing a colonoscopy.
- Prior to performing colonoscopy a thorough cleansing of the colon is required.
- Before the colonoscopy, the patients are required to change the diet for better results.
- Colonoscopy includes a small risk of bleeding.
- The tearing in the lining of the colon can occur while performing the procedure.
Screening for colon cancer with Colonoscopy
There are several different ways to screen colon cancer such as the stool test sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy. The entire test is performed under a mild sedative. While screening for colon cancer with Colonoscopy the entire colon can be viewed. In some cases, CT scans are used as an alternative to a regular colonoscopy which is referred as virtual colonoscopy. There are different other tests which are used such as Double-contrast barium enema which is s a special x-ray of the large intestine that looks at the colon and rectum and Capsule endoscopy which involves swallowing a small, pill-sized camera which is used in rare cases.
Screening options for people with an average risk for colon cancer the surgeon recommends:-
- Colonoscopy to such patients at every 10 years.
- Fecal occult blood test is recommended in every year which also requires colonoscopy results of the tests are positive.
- Double-contrast barium enema tests in every 5 years.
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy in every 5 to 10 years which is usually performed with stool testing in every 1 to 3 years.
- Virtual colonoscopy in every 5 years.
Screening for colon cancer with Colonoscopy in India
Latest technique of colonoscopy is available in India at very fewer costs. Many patients from different countries come to India and avail the medical services at much lesser costs. This gave rise to many medical tourism companies in India. IndianMedTrip is one of the fastest emerging medical tourism companies in India. IndianMedTrip has a large network of associated surgeons and healthcare facilities in India. Wide ranges of services are offered by IndianMedTrip to their patient’s right from their arrival till departure. Food, accommodation, logistics and luxurious visits to exotic locations on request within the country is also taken care of at IndianMedTrip.
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