Colonoscopy in Singapore
Colonoscopy is among the frequently requested medical procedures in Singapore. This procedure is used to screen for colon cancer and other diseases of the colon. Its importance is also highlighted by the fact that colon cancer is one of the top cancers diagnosed in Singapore and affecting both its men and women citizens. If you are planning to visit a colonoscopy clinic in Singapore, here are a few information that you might find useful:
What is colonoscopy?
As stated above, colonoscopy is used to screen for cancer and other conditions related to the colon (also called the large intestine). This procedure is a medical examination which makes use of a specialized tool called the colonoscope which is long and tube-like in appearance and has a light and camera at one end. The tubular instrument has a diameter of around 1/2 inch. The camera projects the images captured in a monitor enabling the doctor to see the insides of the colon. Colonoscopy, in many cases, allows for accurate diagnosis and treatment without the need for a major operation.
Why is colonoscopy performed?
The following are the common reasons a doctor will request for a colonoscopy for a patient:
- To check for symptoms such as abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, persistent diarrhea, and others that affect the digestive functions
- For colon cancer screening especially for those at high risk of developing the disease
- To look for polyps or growths inside the colon that can lead to cancer and other disease
- To treat a certain condition such as inserting a stent or removing something from the colon
What to do before a colonoscopy?
The patient will normally be needed to follow a few extremely important preparation steps before the actual examination. One must take the doctor’s advice carefully because a lack of preparation could force the doctor to reschedule or repeat the procedure. Here are some common preparations done before a colonoscopy:
- One of the steps needed is bowel preparation, which calls for the colon to be free of stool. To clear up the bowels, it is frequently advised to take laxatives with water. It can also be necessary to alter your diet in some way.
- A day before the exam, solid food is not permitted. Additionally, only clear beverages like water, tea, and coffee (without milk) are allowed. Red drinks are prohibited because they could be mistaken for blood during a colonoscopy and result in an incorrect diagnosis.
- The patient will have to fast till midnight before the procedure.
- Additionally, although the majority of drugs work OK with colonoscopies, it is always a good idea to discuss them with your doctor at least one week before the appointment. The doctor can advise you to temporarily stop taking your medicine or change the dosage if it’s truly necessary to reduce your risk of complications during the colonoscopy.
- Make sure to let the doctor know if you are pregnant, have lung and/or heart conditions, diabetes , allergies and any other medical conditions
- Make sure you have a driver ready to take you home following the colonoscopy. It is dangerous for you to drive or operate machinery for eight hours following the surgery because you receive sedative medicine during it.
What to expect during a colonoscopy procedure?
A sedative will usually be given to the patient before the examination. To decrease any discomfort, the sedative is frequently mixed with painkillers that are administered intravenously (straight into your bloodstream). The examination will start with you laying on your side on the exam table, typically with your knees bent toward your chest. The doctor will then begin inserting the colonoscope through the rectum. The tube will be gradually advanced throughout the colon’s full length by the doctor. The doctor will enlarge the colon by pumping air through the tube to speed up the process and get a better view of the colon lining. As the tube travels, the built-in camera displays photos of the colon’s inside for the doctor to see and study. The presence of polyps, other abnormalities, and signs of colon or colorectal cancer will all be noted by the doctor. In addition to removing polyps, the doctor can obtain some samples of colon tissue.
During the procedure, you may experience minor cramping which can be reduced by doing several slow, deep breaths. After the doctor is done, the colonoscope is slowly removed. The examination will be finished in an average of 30 to 60 minutes.
Is recovery time needed after a colonoscopy?
Recovery time is needed once the exam is over so that the sedation can wear off. You should not be driving or handling machineries for making any vital decisions hours after the colonoscopy and should wait for the sedation to wear off. Also, for a few hours following the examination, you might feel bloated or pass gas as your colon clears the air. Any soreness might be eased by a walk. Special diets can occasionally be required for post-procedure care, especially if polypectomy was required.
What happens when results are out?
Your doctor will examine the results and, naturally, go through them with you. A negative outcome would indicate that there were no anomalies found. A positive result would demonstrate the presence of polyps, abnormal tissues, and cancerous symptoms. Typically, the doctor may recommend getting repeated colonoscopies and/or refer you to surgeons who are experienced in removing large polyps.
Are there risks in getting a colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is a relatively painless procedure, and serious complications are quite uncommon. Here are some known risks involved in colonoscopy:
- an adverse response to the sedative that was administered during the examination
- bleeding that occurs at the site of a tissue biopsy or after a polyp or other aberrant tissue has been removed
- rectum or colon wall tearing (perforation)
Take note that any time bleeding is significant or ongoing, you should seek medical attention right away.
How much is colonoscopy in Singapore?
The type or complexity of the process, the doctor’s charge, and the location where the treatment is performed will all affect the cost of a colonoscopy in Singapore. To learn more about the fees involved and potential discounts or subsidies you may be eligible for when undergoing a colonoscopy, feel free to speak with the doctor or medical facility of your choice.