The treatment for bowel cancer depends on how far the cancer has spread (we call this the stage of the cancer) More >
A colonoscopy involves passing a small flexible camera through the bottom into the large bowel. The doctor doing the colonoscopy can take photographs or biopsies from inside the bowel.
The day before a colonoscopy, you will be asked to not eat and take strong laxatives to empty out the bowel completely.
On the day of your colonoscopy, you will change into a hospital gown and then walk into the endoscopy room. The doctor will put a small needle called a cannula into the back of your arm and give you a sedative injection.
You will be asked to lie on your left side while the doctor does the colonoscopy. You can watch the pictures on a TV screen if you want to. The whole test takes about 30 minutes. If the doctor finds a polyp, he will normally remove this during the colonoscopy (a procedure called polypectomy).
Recovery after colonoscopy
After your colonoscopy you will be taken to the recovery area while the sedative wears off. You may feel a bit bloated, passing wind from your bottom will make you feel more comfortable.
You will be able to go home within a few hours. You should not drive, drink alcohol or make any important decisions for 24 hours after your colonoscopy.