What is Colonoscopy?
We are living in an age and an era where the techniques for diagnosis and prognosis have become more efficient than they ever were. There are tests, scans, and imaging techniques that can immediately reveal the nature of the disorder a patient is suffering from. All that it takes is only a few hours! A boom was observed in the medical diagnostic and testing techniques as disciplines like Biophysics evolved in the earlier years of the first decade of the 21st century. It is a pity that people don’t read about these advancements more, and check them out only when they have to undergo a diagnostic test. Take the example of Colonoscopy. Are you aware of the colonoscopy meaning, or what the colonoscopy test is all about? If no, then you should read this article carefully, as we are going to talk about colonoscopy in detail in it.
But before we jump into all the details, it is important defining Colonoscopy in the first place. Well, it is an examination that detects abnormalities (or any changes) in the large intestine. Speaking specifically about the areas put under examination, these are colon and rectum. For certain indications that we will talk about in a minute, your doctor might recommend a colonoscopy. A long but flexible tube is inserted into the rectum of a person undergoing a colonoscopy. You must be wondering how the doctor monitors the rectum through this tube. Well, there is a camera at the tip of the tube, which displays the internal view of the entire colon region.
As promised before, in this section, we are going to have a look at the reasons why you might need a colonoscopy. The prime reason for a colonoscopy is of course the investigation of symptoms that suggest turbulence in the intestinal region. When we say turbulence, we refer to problems such as abdominal pain, rectal infections, and bleeding, chronic diarrhea, and sometimes, chronic constipation as well. Another reason for colonoscopy might be the presence of polyps. The presence of polyps, as you might know already, can lead to colon cancer. Oh, and while we are at it, colonoscopy is also advised for colon cancer screening.
Preparation means emptying your colon, in case you are wondering about the usage of the word in this context. How do you do that? Well, you will have to follow specific instructions from your doctor but the general advice is pretty much the same as what we are about to tell you. For starters, you will have to switch to a special diet that is not as solid as your usual diet. Also, it is best to guzzle down drinks that don’t have a tinge of red. Otherwise, the redness of the liquid might be confused with blood. Oh, and please ditch midnight snacking on the night before colonoscopy.
Sedatives are a must when it comes to colonoscopy. In which manner are they administered matters as well. The recommended way of giving a sedative to a person undergoing a colonoscopy is usually giving them the drug in the form of a pill. However, there are other ways of giving sedatives as well. It can be given via the intravenous route as well. Ideally, the sedative is given in combination with an IV painkiller. The painkiller works wonderfully in minimizing any pain that one might feel during the colonoscopy test. As for the test itself, well, you will have to assume a kneeling posture so that the doctor can insert a colonoscope in your rectum. The tube allows the doctor to monitor the status of carbon dioxide or oxygen levels inside your rectum. It is also at this point that the person undergoing colonoscopy might feel abdominal cramps for the first time. Rarely, tissue samples are taken from the colon for further inspection. Normally, the images that are sent through the video camera are enough for a doctor to assess the state of affairs inside a patient’s colon.
Colonoscopy results and their interpretation
You will recover from sedatives within an hour after taking them. But more important than that is correctly interpreting the results of your colonoscopy. A negative result indicates that everything is working just fine inside your colon. A positive result on the other hand suggests the presence of polyps or abnormal tissues inside your colon. It is important to note that not all polyps are cancerous, so you don’t need to freak out if your report suggests their presence. But if the polyp or polyps are larger than 0.4 inches, then your doctor will suggest another colonoscopy, and probably insist that you go under it soon. The poor view can be one of the reasons for another colonoscopy as well.
It sounds as if this rather invasive procedure comes with a bit of risk. True. But risks are really not that threatening, so you can put your mind at ease. Let us see from where these risks stem. Firstly, the sedative that you are given can elicit an adverse reaction, so getting a comment on that from your doctor will not go amiss. Then, in case your colonoscopy involved a biopsy, there is always a risk of internal bleeding. Lastly, incompetence on your doctor/technicians part can lead to a tear in the rectal wall. We don’t want any of that happening to you! So please be careful in your selection of a doctor.
A test of this nature in countries like Pakistan is considered an expensive test. Prices vary a lot since a lot of factors influence the ultimate number on a patient’s bills. However, the price of a colonoscopy test in Pakistan is in the range of 10,000PKR-25,000 PKR. It can go even higher than in some cases, so be prepared for a little more burden on your wallet.
Folks, that is all from this discussion. We wish we could talk a bit more about the colonoscopy and its meaning with reference to real-life examples. Unfortunately, we have run out of space and time, which means we will have to bid farewell now! We sincerely wish you all the best in case you are undergoing a colonoscopy soon.
Leave a Reply