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Scotland’s Best Private Colorectal Surgery & Colonoscopy Clinic

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Any questions? Call Catherine on 0735 506 6597

Who should have a colonoscopy?

Colonoscopy may be recommended to adults 50 years of age or older who are found to have tiny traces of blood in stool samples submitted as part of the Bowel Screening Program. Patients with a family history of colon or rectal cancer may also need to consider having a colonoscopy, even if they do not have any bowel symptoms. Your doctor may also recommend a colonoscopy examination if you have had a change in bowel habit or you have noticed rectal bleeding. These symptoms indicate a possible problem in the colon or rectum. A colonoscopy may be necessary to:

How is colonoscopy performed?

The bowel must first be thoroughly cleared of all residue before a colonoscopy. This is done one days before the exam with a preparation prescribed by your doctor. Many patients receive intravenous sedation, or “conscious sedation” for this procedure. This means that they may be a little drowsy but the aim is not to make them fully unconscious. The colonoscope is inserted into the rectum and is advanced to the portion of the colon where the small intestine joins the colon. During a complete examination of the bowel, your doctor may also  remove polyps or take biopsies as necessary.

The entire procedure usually takes less than 30 minutes. Following the colonoscopy, there may be slight discomfort, which quickly improves with the expelling of wind. Most patients can resume their regular diet and activities the same day. If they have had sedation, they should not drive, operate machinery or sign any legal documents for the rest of the day.

Colon and rectum containing a colonoscope, a view of the end of a colonoscope and a view of the colon during a colonoscopy

What are the benefits of colonoscopy?

Colonoscopy is more accurate than an x-ray or CT scan of the colon to detect polyps or early cancer. With colonoscopy, it is may also be possible to detect and remove most polyps without abdominal surgery. Removing polyps is an important step in the prevention of colon cancer. Colonoscopy also allows doctors to assess the severity and extent of colitis. It also allows your doctor to directly look at and biopsy areas of inflammation and narrowed or strictured areas with the bowel. On occasion the bowel/rectum may bleed following radiotherapy treatment. Colonoscopy may be combined with a special form of coagulation to stop the bleeding (argon plasma coagulation).   

What are the risks of colonoscopy?

Colonoscopy is generally a very safe procedure with complications occurring in less than 1% of patients. These risks include bleeding, a tear in the intestine, risks of the sedation and failure to either complete the examination or failure to detect a polyp or other pathology.

What are the reasons for an incomplete colonoscopy?

You might expect an experienced doctor who performs a lot of colonoscopy to to be able to complete the examination around 95% of the time. There are a number of reasons why it might not be possible to complete the examination. These include the following

What happens if it is not possible to perform a complete colonoscopy?

You doctor will discuss why it was not possible to complete the examination. Depending on the indication for the procedure and also taking into account how much of the colon was examined, they may recommend an additional test such as a CT pneumocolon (also known as a CT colonoscopy). Although this is a good second best examination in the event that it is not possible to complete the colonoscopy, it does suffer from the drawback in that if a problem is seen, it is not possible to obtain a biopsy or remove colonic polyps if these are identified.

What sort of conditions can be diagnosed  at colonoscopy?

Any diseases affecting the ling of the colon or even the terminal ileum (small bowel leading into the colon) can be diagnosed at colonoscopy. Most examinations are normal. However, some of the more commonly conditions that may be found at colonoscopy include the following

Colon and rectum of a patient undergoing a colonoscopy. The colon is diseased with diverticulitis, colon cancer, colon polyps, adhesions, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn's disease

Is it possible to have a Private Health colonoscopy at the Glasgow Colorectal Centre?

Our surgeons, Mr. Richard Molloy and Mr. Ahmed Alani perform colonoscopy as a routine part of their clinical practice. Both have colonoscopy completion rate of more than 95%. Our surgeons also perform colonoscopy as part of the NHS Colorectal Cancer Screening program. They are experienced at advanced & therapeutic colonoscopy including complex polypectomies, endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) and dilatation (opening up) of colonic strictures etc.

The Glasgow Colorectal Centre is based at Ross Hall hospital. The hospital has recently opened a new state of the art dedicated endoscopy suite, with the very latest high definition Olympus colonoscopes. It has its own entrance/reception which directly lead into the patient rooms and the endoscopy suite.  

Information sheet on Colonoscopy

A gallery of colonoscopy images can be seen here

Pentax colonoscope used to perform high definition colonoscopy Captain Kirk being persuaded by Mr. Spock to go for his colonoscopy with the words "C'mon now Jim. It's time for your colonoscopy" Glasgow Colorectal Centre logo against a silhouette of Glasgow city buildings and the river Clyde, Scotland

If you have any questions about colonoscopy or other colorectal issues, your own GP is often the best first port of call. If appropriate, they will be able to arrange a referral to a colorectal specialist centre such as the Glasgow Colorectal Centre.


Indications, preparation & procedure information

Glasgow Colorectal Centre logo against a silhouette of Glasgow city buildings and the river Clyde, Scotland

Colonoscopy is a safe, effective method of examining the full lining of the colon and rectum, using a long, flexible, tubular instrument. It is used to diagnose colon and rectum problems and to perform biopsies and remove colon polyps (polypectomies). Most colonoscopies are performed as an outpatient, with minimal inconvenience and discomfort.

Reception area for the new Endoscopy Suite at BMI Ross Hall hospital, Glasgow