P a t i e n t I n f o r m a t i o n G u i d e
Putting patients first has always been our priority at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
Wel c om e
We value our patients most
Today, we are one of the largest multi-
disciplinary hospitals in Singapore.
We are committed to continuing our
founders legacy of compassion and care
for the people. At our hospital, we strive
to create an environment for holistic
Bringing together our best clinical
skills, a team-based approach, relevant
technologies and patient-centred
philosophy, we make every effort to
serve, care, heal and comfort our patients.
1. WhAT IS ACOLONOSCOPY?
Colonoscopy is a procedure where a flexible tube with the diameter of the index finger is used to look inside the colon (large intestine). This flexible tube, called the colonoscope, has a tiny video camera and a light source at its end. The high-quality and magnified image from the colonoscope is then transmitted to a monitor.
WhAT IS A COLONOSCOPY?
WhERE IS ThE COLON?
WhO ShOULD UNDERGO A
ARE ThERE ANY RISKS
WhAT hAPPENS BEFORE A
hOW DO I PREPARE FOR A
hOW IS A COLONOSCOPY
WhAT CAN I EXPECT AFTER A
A colonoscopy is frequently used to detect colorectal cancer, especially when polyps or tumour-like growths have been detected through diagnostic imaging tests. Polyps can be removed through the colonoscope, and samples of tissue (biopsies) can be taken to detect the presence of cancerous cells. In addition, colonoscopy can also be used to remove foreign bodies, control haemorrhage and excise tumours.
2. WHERE IS THE COLON?The colon, or large intestine, is the last portion of the digestive tract. It starts at the caecum, which is a continuation of the small intestine and ends at the rectum. It is typically about 1.5 metres long.
3. WHO SHOULD UNDERGO A COLONOSCOPY?A colonoscopy is recommended for patients with the following symptoms and conditions:
Blood in Stool Change in Bowel Habits (Constipation or
Diarrhoea) Personal and/or Family History of Cancer Unexplained Abdominal Symptoms Rectal Bleeding
The procedure is also recommended as a screening test for individuals aged 50-years or older.
4. ARE THERE ANY RISKS INVOLVED?Although colonoscopy is a safe procedure, complications can occur. These include perforation or puncture of the colon walls, which could require surgical repair. This is fortunately rare and happens in about 1 in 1,000 patients.
5. WHAT HAPPENS BEFORE A COLONOSCOPY?DOCTOR CONSULTATIONYour doctor will conduct a comprehensive assessment of your condition. During this consultation, do inform the doctor if you have any chronic medical conditions. You will also need to provide a complete list of all your medications, especially drugs like Aspirin and Warfarin.
FINANCIAL COUNSELLINGYou will be advised on the estimated bill size before the procedure is carried out. Colonoscopy procedures are Medisave claimable.
6. HOW DO I PREPARE FOR A COLONOSCOPY?You will be prescribed appropriate drugs to help clear the bowels. Bowel preparation is essential to cleanse the intestines and provide the doctor a clear view of the colon during the colonoscopy.
You will also be provided a detailed schedule on when to take the drugs and how to coordinate them with your meals.
Anatomy of a Colon
7. HOW IS A COLONOSCOPY PERFORMED?Following registration, you will be led to a room to change into a procedural gown. Medication may be administered intravenously to help you relax. Oxygen may be given by a plastic tube.
In the procedure room, you will be asked to lie on your left side. Once fully relaxed, your doctor will first perform a rectal exam; then the lubricated colonoscope will be gently inserted.
You may feel the sensation of fullness or cramping as the scope advances. This is due to the introduction of air needed to
advance the scope. Generally, there is little or no discomfort.
The colonoscope allows the doctor to obtain biopsies (small pieces of tissue) and remove polyps (growths arising from the intestinal lining). Most polyps are not cancerous but can become cancerous if allowed to grow. As such, polyps are usually removed.
The removal of polyps will not hurt as the lining of the colon does not sense pain. Removal of polyps is also an important way to prevent colon cancer.
A colonoscopy will take about 30 minutes on average.
8. WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTER A COLONOSCOPY?POST-PROCEDURE RECOVERYAfter a colonoscopy, you will rest in a recovery area for at least an hour for any medication side effects to wear off. You may experience a bloated feeling, which is a common discomfort and will subside in 24 hours or less. Refreshments will also be served to soothe the empty stomach.
FOLLOW-UP CAREOur nurses will give you a brief report of the procedure, fix an appointment for the next review with your doctor and go through the discharge instructions on how to care for yourself in the next two days. Information on when and how to seek urgent medical attention, if required, will also be provided.
DISCHARGEYour personal safety and well-being are most important to us. Please ensure that an adult is available to accompany you home after the colonoscopy. Although you are awake by the time of discharge, the medications used for sedation may have a lingering drowsiness effect.
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CLINIC 2BLevel 2, TTSh Medical CentreTan Tock Seng hospital
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TAN TOCK SENG HOSPITAL 11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng Singapore 308433 (Nearest MRT Station: Novena)
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