Endoscopy is a procedure through which an examination of the internal organs may be carried out. An endoscopic procedure utilizes a tool known as an endoscope. The endoscope is a long, thin and flexible tool which has a light, telescope and a video camera attached at one end. For an endoscopic procedure, the endoscope is inserted into the body through a natural opening like the mouth and the internal organs are then evaluated through this endoscope.
Colonoscopy on the other hand, is a type of endoscopy, which is specifically carried out in the colon. Colonoscopy is used to view and examine the inside of the rectum and the colon. With the help of colonoscopy, the doctor can examine your internal organs for evidences of inflammation, ulceration in the lining of the colon, and tumors or abnormal growths. In fact, colonoscopy can also help detect signs of colorectal cancer.
If you have been experiencing abnormal pain in the abdomen, sudden and unexplained changes in bowel movements, anal bleeding, and sudden or rapid changes in weight, the doctor usually calls for a colonoscopy in order to be able to make a diagnosis. During the procedure, the endoscope, or the colonoscope is inserted into the body through the anus and is then guided through the rectum till it reaches into the colon. There, the colonoscope fills up the large intestines with carbon dioxide, in order to inflate the organ and allow the doctors to have a better view.
Since both the colon and the rectum form the major part of the large intestines, colonoscopy can be used to identify any potential problem in the large intestines. For colonoscopy, the doctor usually gives written instructions about the exact places which have to be examined. For the procedure, it is important for the bowels to be empty. Therefore, it is recommended that you empty your bowels before the examination. For three days before the examination, the doctor will ask you to switch to a liquid diet. During this time, you will have to avoid all kinds of solids, consuming only strained fruit juice, water, gelatin, tea, coffee, and fat free broth.
The night before the colonoscopy, to completely empty your bowels, you will have to be given an enema or some laxatives. Since all kinds of endoscopies are invasive, you may feel some discomfort for a brief period after the exam. You will also be given a sedative before the exam and some local anesthesia, because of which driving is prohibited for at least 24 hours after the examination. This gives enough time for the effects of the sedative to wear off
Submitted by M T on February 25, 2010 at 02:30