Colonoscopy is a medical imaging test where your doctor examines the lining of your large intestine or colon for abnormalities or inflammation, by inserting a thin, flexible tube into the anus and slowly advancing it through the rectum and colon. This instrument, a colonoscope, consists of a thin and flexible tube 1.5 to 2 m long connected to a miniature camera that allows your doctor to view the real-time images on a video monitor. Private colonoscopy often permits rapid diagnosis and treatment in a single session.
Among the various medical conditions affecting the large intestine and colon, is colorectal cancer which is considered the third most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in Canada, with an estimated mortality rate of 12% of all cancer deaths, which represents a fairly high mortality rate. This is why a colonoscopy is recommended not only to assess symptoms such as bleeding and diarrhea but also to check for possible colorectal cancer. Colonoscopy saves lives in this regard.
In Canada, colonoscopy for colon cancer screening is usually done at age 50. However, it can be done earlier for some people at higher risk. In all cases, consult your doctor without delay as soon as you notice:
Other symptoms may cause your doctor to order a private colonoscopy during your medical consultation. It is therefore important that you maintain optimal gut health.
Before the procedure, you will be given preparation instructions. It is important to follow them very carefully in order to prevent needing to repeat the procedure. For the instruction, see our For Patients section.
Colonoscopy is performed at our clinics in Montreal and Gatineau. Its duration varies from 15 to 45 minutes. But make sure you have someone with you first since you will usually not be able to drive after the test due to the sedative being given. You have the option to receive an intravenous sedative to relieve discomfort. If necessary, the doctor may insert instruments into the colonoscope to take a biopsy, stop bleeding, or remove polyps.
After the test, you will still feel the effects of the sedative. You will be placed in a place to rest. You should not drive or operate machinery for 24 hours after the exam. When you get home, continue to drink enough fluids to replace the fluids that you have lost but avoid drinking alcohol. The nurse will explain to you how you can resume your medication and your usual diet.
Colonoscopy is the best test to prevent colon cancer, but it is also the most invasive of the screening options. The risks of colonoscopy include:
The primary benefit of colonoscopy in Montreal is that it helps keep you safe from colon cancer, and if you have symptoms, it may give you some answers as to what’s going on.
Our ScopeMD clinics in Montreal and Gatineau offer you the colonoscopy procedure in private. Trust our doctors to have a colonoscopy safely in a professional, warm and welcoming environment. Call us without delay to make an appointment at 514-400-3291.