Having a colonoscopy

It is an examination of the bowel performed by passing a thin, flexible tube, called a colonoscope, via the back passage and along the large intestine (colon). The test is usually performed as a day-case under conscious sedation. This allows examination of the large bowel (colon) and last part of the small bowel (terminal ileum). It may be necessary to take a biopsy (small piece of tissue) for further investigation. This is done painlessly through the tube using tiny forceps. The test takes about 20-30 minutes to complete. The test sometimes picks up polyps (small projections of tissue) which are easily removed and prevent the development of bowel cancer. Why not listen to Dr Pollok talking about bowel cancer and colonoscopy in a recent radio interview.
Colonoscopy procedure code H2002 

Having a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

Sometimes a shortened version of a colonoscopy procedure called a flexible-sigmoidoscopy may be done instead which visualises the left side of the colon only. This procedure takes about 10-15 minutes and does usually require sedation or prior bowel prep. When you arrive at the day-case unit the nurse caring for you will insert an enema  to clear your bowel prior to the procedure. Flexible Sigmoidoscopy procedure code H2502

 
An information leaflet on preparation for colonoscopy may downloaded as a PDF document (see below) or is available from Parkside Hospital pharmacy, telephone 0208 971 8000.