A colonoscopy is similar to an OGD – however, instead of investigating the upper gastrointestinal tract, the lower gastrointestinal tract i.e. the colon, is examined.
If you experience changes in your bowel habits and /or symptoms, like blood in stools, diarrhoea or constipation that does not go away, it is advisable for you to undergo a colonoscopy. In addition, colonoscopy is a very effective screening tool for colorectal cancer. Individuals with a family history or anyone above 50 years of age are encouraged to be screened for colorectal cancer, as it is the most common cancer in Singapore.
A colonoscopy is performed in the endoscopy suite, while patients are comfortably sedated. The procedure involves the insertion of a soft, thin and flexible tube via the anus, into the large intestine. The tube has a built-in camera that allows the doctor to examine all parts of your large intestine including the colon, rectum and anus.
It is used to screen for colorectal cancer as it allows for early detection of tumours and pre-cancerous growths, called polyps. Polyps are usually harmless and do not cause any symptoms when they are small, but over time they may cause problems of bleeding, obstruction and become cancerous. Colonoscopy allows for the detection and removal of these polyps, and hence helps to prevent colorectal cancer.
Our doctors at Melissa Teo Surgery and The Surgical Oncology Clinic have many years of experience performing colonoscopies for patients. We take care in ensuring that it is done carefully and expertly, and any follow-up consultations needed will be addressed swiftly.