What is colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a test designed to diagnose problems with the large intestine. It involves the insertion of a thin, flexible telescope through your anus and into the large intestine, where it can be observed by a consultant. The colonoscope has fibre optic channels to allow light to shine down as well as a channel that can be used to take biopsies of the large intestine for diagnostic purposes.

A colonoscopy can be used to diagnose various forms of inflammatory bowel disease, polyps of the colon, and potentially cancerous growths.

When will I recover?

A colonoscopy is a routine test that can be performed on an outpatient basis, usually under sedation. Patients should be ready to go home an hour after the procedure, although if sedation has been used then driving, operating machinery or drinking alcohol should be avoided for 24 hours.