You have been referred to us by your doctor for a colonoscopy. We would like to explain how this procedure works and what you need to know as a patient: In the colonoscopy we examine your lower digestive tract, which includes the anal canal, the colon and the end of the small intestine. During the procedure, samples may be taken or for example, bleeding may be staunched. Furthermore, we may look at haemorrhoids and treat them as required. Colonoscopy is one of the most important examinations in cancer screening.
Before your colonoscopy it is important for your intestine to be cleaned with a laxative so that the examination can be performed correctly. You will receive precise instructions from us as to how to cleanse your intestines. Your intestinal cleaning begins at home the day before your examination. We will give you the medication you need for intestinal cleaning. Please note that you need to have an empty stomach for your colonoscopy. This means that from when you start taking the laxatives, you may still drink clear fluids but not eat anything else. Please bring a list of all the medication you take regularly to the appointment. If you take blood-thinning medication, you need to advise us of this at least one week in advance. If you inject yourself with insulin, you should omit the dose before the examination and bring the result of a finger prick blood test. If you are unsure about anything, please get in touch with us.
You can expect your appointment to last about 1.5–2 hours if you are coming for a colonoscopy. After a preliminary discussion with the doctor, your examination will take place in the endoscopy room and last about 30–45 minutes. In the examination, a flexible tube (endoscope) is used that will be passed through your intestine. It is fitted with a light and camera at one end. The examination is performed under anaesthesia (propofol), which means you will be asleep for the procedure. You will wake up quickly after the examination and can rest in the recovery room before having a follow-up discussion with the doctor and returning home. Please note that you must not drive or operate machinery following this procedure. Please therefore arrange for someone to collect you at the end of your appointment.