During a colonoscopy, the entire colon is examined. If necessary, the doctor can also go into the last piece of the small intestine (terminal ileum) and examine it. Tissue samples are only taken during colonoscopy if there is an appropriate question (e.g. chronic diarrhea). The duration of the examination is usually around 20-30 minutes, but this can vary. An examination takes longer if polyps are removed (polypectomy).
The colonoscopy is performed as a so-called "gentle" colonoscopy. This means that the patient receives medication to sleep (sedation) and is therefore hardly aware of the examination. More than 90 percent take advantage of this option (a few patients do not do so if they expressly request it).
Risks of the colonoscopy:
Before each colonoscopy, a detailed explanation about the procedure and the risks is required in a timely manner.
Preparation for colonoscopy
At least three days before the examination, no whole grain products and no fibrous vegetables or fruit containing seeds should be eaten to avoid blockage of the endoscope (e.g. grapes or kiwi). A small breakfast is allowed on the day before the examination, and a clear soup can be eaten at lunchtime.
» About preparation
The actual preparation begins on the afternoon of the day before the examination. The exact preparation depends on the type of preparation used.
In the morning of the day of the examination, one liter of intestinal lavage solution must be drunk. The stool should then be watery and only slightly colored. Compliance with these preparatory measures is necessary to enable an accurate assessment of the mucosa. The risk of complications and the quality of the examination are also significantly lower if you are well prepared (better overview). If the patient takes medication regularly, they can be taken unchanged on the day of the examination. The intake of antidiabetics or the birth control pill should be discussed with the doctor beforehand.
When using sedation with propofol, the patient has to sleep for about an hour after the examination. Drinking or eating is also only allowed/possible when the sedation has completely worn off (at least one hour). The patient must not drive a vehicle for 24 hours after receiving sedation. It is therefore advisable to be picked up or to use public transport