Screening is fundamental to the early detection, prevention, and treatment of polyps and inflammatory disorders. Dr Ganesh participates in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program where patients with a positive Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) are recommended a colonoscopy via Direct Access. Please click on Direct Access Colonoscopy for more information.
Patients with symptoms such as bleeding from the anus, blood in the stools, change in bowel habits, iron deficiency anaemia, unexplained weight loss and a family history of bowel cancer will require a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy can be organised via the Direct Access pathway or after a consultation which can either be face-to-face or via telehealth.
During the colonoscopy, patients are sedated by an anaesthetist, after a needle is placed in the hand. A thin, soft, and flexible tube is used to examine the inner lining of the colon and rectum. In addition to checking for cancers, colonoscopies may be ordered:
- To remove precancerous polyps
- As a follow-up for patients who have had polyps removed previously
- To assess reported changes in bowel habits and symptoms such as bleeding or unexplained weight loss or iron deficiency anaemia
- For evaluation of inflammatory disorders such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
- Before or following some surgical procedures
We will provide clear instructions on how to prepare for a colonoscopy. The colon and rectum must be thoroughly emptied. This involves consuming a bowel prep solution, as advised, clear liquids, and other products as directed. Dr Ganesh and his nurse will give instructions regarding certain medications as blood thinners or newer diabetic medications may need to be ceased prior to the procedures. Transportation will need to be arranged as the patient will not be able to drive after the procedure. Anaesthetics can cause lingering drowsiness and affect reflexes and judgment. All patients will be given two copies of the report for their own records and to be handed over to their GP. Any pathology from the patient’s procedure will be copied to their GP and a letter from Dr Ganesh will follow.
All pathology is checked by Dr Ganesh and his dedicated nurse. Patients with pathology will be given the option of having a face-to-face consultation or telehealth to discuss their procedure. The majority of polyps detected are not cancerous, and they can be removed during the colonoscopy. However, the detection and removal of such polyps is an important step toward potentially preventing colorectal cancers. Patients who had polyps will be put on a recall system and contacted by either text or letter regarding their recall colonoscopy at the appropriate time interval.
Surgery is highly effective at treating these cancers; however, since most recurrences are detected within the first two years post-surgery, it is critical to maintain follow-up appointments.