You have been advised to have a colonoscopy by your local doctor Dr Ganesh, so you should be familiar with colonoscopies. If you aren’t already, a colonoscopy involves inserting a flexible tube with a camera via the anus to inspect the large bowel. You will be sedated for the duration and usually will have no recollection of having the procedure. The procedure is usually very well tolerated. Dr Ganesh will likely debrief you on the colonoscopy in the recovery room, and this will usually be a short and simple conversation.
We know this conversation can be fuzzy, and you might not remember the details due to the sedatives in your system. In general, you would expect your preliminary results to sound something like “your bowel was clean and we got good views” and “your colonoscopy was normal” or “we found a few polyps which were removed.” These results are meant to give you a broad understanding of how things went. You will be given an appointment with Dr Ganesh a few weeks after the procedure to discuss the findings in further detail. This will be done either in his rooms or via telehealth. You will be discharged with 2 copies of your procedure, one of which you should give to your GP.
This is what we hope to find! No abnormalities.
These are clumps of veins near the surface of the lining of your anus. It is the most common cause of bleeding. We all have haemorrhoids, but they may become enlarged or inflamed due to increased strain (constipation, pregnancy, coughing or heavy lifting are common factors). Bleeding from haemorrhoids can be treated by improving your diet to decrease constipation along with the topical application of haemorrhoid cream or suppositories. However, if there is persistent bleeding, Dr Ganesh may place rubber bands at the conclusion of the colonoscopy to shrink the haemorrhoids. These will eventually fall off 10-14 days after your procedure.
A very common occurrence in Western populations, this can be an incidental finding on a colonoscopy or a CT scan. Diverticular disease refers to the presence of outpouching in the colon where a weakness in the muscular wall bulges outwards. It is usually located in the sigmoid colon which is located on the left lower abdomen but can be found throughout the colon. It is a benign condition and has no potential to become cancerous. Most cause no symptoms or problems. In a minority of cases, however, these pouches can sometimes cause pain on the lower left side and lead to inflammation (diverticulitis). It can occasionally bleed or cause narrowing of the bowel. Perforation of the bowel is very rare.
These are outgrowths of the tissues from the lining of the colon. There are two types of polyps:
- Benign: these polyps do not become cancerous. Usually, these require no treatment
- Neoplastic: includes precancerous polyps (adenomas) and adenocarcinoma (colon cancer)
The more adenomas you have and the larger they are, the higher the risk is that they will contain cancerous tissue. While smaller polyps can often be removed during the colonoscopy, larger ones may require surgery. The polyps removed during the colonoscopy will be sent to pathology. The pathologist will then confirm the type of polyp and the potential risks.
When are the results available?
Results generally take a few days to be available. Dr Ganesh will generally discuss the results with you either at your next face-to-face appointment or via phone consult once the results are received. He will then recommend either a 3, 5, or 10 year recall colonoscopy.