Investigations

Find more information about various colorectal and surgical procedures.

Colonoscopy
A procedure whereby a doctor inserts a viewing tube (colonoscope) into the rectum for the purpose of inspecting the colon.

During a colonoscopy, polyps can be removed, bleeding can be cauterized, and a biopsy can be performed if abnormal areas of the colon are seen.

You will be given a medication called Picolax to take before your colonoscopy.  This is a laxative which allows the surgeon to have a clear, unobstructed view of your colon.

For more information about the bowel preparation you will need to undertake, see here.

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CT colonography

CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) is a minimally invasive exam to screen for cancer of the large intestine (colon). Virtual colonoscopy requires the same pre-test bowel preparation as colonoscopy, but virtual colonoscopy doesn’t require sedation or inserting a scope into the colon.

During virtual colonoscopy, a CT scan produces hundreds of cross-sectional images of your abdominal organs. The images are combined and digitally manipulated to provide a detailed view of the inside of the colon and rectum.

Virtual colonoscopy is an alternative to colonoscopy, but the new test doesn’t mean you’ll never have another colonoscopy. If virtual colonoscopy shows abnormalities in your colon, your doctor will typically recommend colonoscopy to learn more.

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Flexible sigmoidoscopy
Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a procedure that allows your doctor to examine the rectum and the lower (sigmoid) colon.

The flexible sigmoidoscope is a flexible tube 60 cm long and about the thickness of your little finger. It is inserted gently into the anus and advanced slowly into the rectum and the lower colon. It is an accurate and simple method of investigating the cause of rectal bleeding, change in bowel habit, and rectal symptoms such as pain and diarrhoea.

Flexible sigmoidoscopy also is a part of colon screening and surveillance for colon cancer.

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MRI defaecating proctography
A defaecating proctogram is a special test that can be very important in helping to determine the cause of a patients symptoms of faecal incontinence or difficult defaecation using an MRI scanner.
Proctoscopy
Visual examination of the rectum and the end of the colon by means of a proctoscope.

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