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COLONOSCOPY

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Colonoscopy and removal of polyps decrease the
incidence of colorectal cancer!

Contact us today at 6250 5610 or WhatsApp us here.

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What is a colonoscopy?

In colonoscopy, a long thin flexible tube with a small light and camera at the end is inserted through the anus and rectum until the caecum (beginning of the colon). It is connected to a screen that allows Dr Tan to evaluate any abnormalities seen along the way. 

You will be given sedation just before the start of your colonoscopy. 

During the examination, any polyp that is found will be removed immediately to prevent colorectal cancer from potentially developing.

Who should go for colonoscopy?

If you have the symptoms mentioned below, you should have a colonoscopy.

Image by National Cancer Institute
Dr Tan Chun Hai, Surgicare, Colonoscope
Dr Tan Chun Hai, Surgicare, Colonoscope
Dr Tan Chun Hai, Surgicare, Colonoscope, Gastroscope

Colonoscope

Tumour

  • Previous history of colorectal polyps

Dr Tan Chun Hai, Surgicare, Colonoscope
  • If you have a family history of colorectal cancer. Patients with family members who had colorectal cancer are at high risk of developing colorectal cancer.

If you have any of these symptoms:

  • Bleeding, blood in stools

  • Constipation

  • Diarrhoea

  • Change in bowel habit

  • Decrease in stool calibre

  • Abdominal distention

  • Abdominal pain

  • Low blood count, Anaemia

Dr Tan Chun Hai, Surgicare, Colonoscope
  • If you are 50 years old and above. Colorectal screening.

Dr Tan Chun Hai, Surgicare, Colonoscope
  • Lifestyle and Dietary Risk factors – 

    • Overweight and Obesity 

    • Long history of cigarette smoking.

    • Excessive alcohol intake

    • High consumption of processed meat. E.g. sausages, bacon, luncheon meat

Some of the above mentioned symptoms may be suggestive of colorectal cancer!

Colorectal cancer is the most common cancer in Singapore. It is also the most common cause of death in Singapore. Survival depends on the stage of disease upon detection. 5-year survival in early stages is up to 95%, while in advanced disease is <5%. 

 

Most colorectal cancers start out as polyp. The time for progression from a pre-malignant polyp to invasive cancer may be 5 years or more. A window of opportunity exists when these polyps may be safely removed via colonoscopy, effectively preventing the development of colorectal cancer.

Early detection saves lives. Schedule your colonoscopy today!

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What to expect during the colonoscopy procedure?

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PRE PROCEDURE
  • You will consult Dr Tan in his clinic, and scheduled for colonoscopy at the next available time slot of your choosing

  • You will check in to endoscopy centre 30 – 60 mins before colonoscopy

  • Dr Tan or an anaesthetist will give you an injection of sedative just before the start of your colonoscopy

DURING THE PROCEDURE
  • You will be in deep sleep during the colonoscopy.

  • Colonoscopy usually takes less than 30 minutes. If there are polyps or abnormalities detected, it will be removed immediately and the colonoscopy may take longer. 

  • If you have a gastroscopy scheduled together, your colonoscopy is usually done after the gastroscopy

AFTER THE PROCEDURE
  • You will be awake about 15-30mins after the gastroscopy / colonoscopy.

  • You will be monitored in endoscopy centre recovery area

  • Dr Tan will come and explain the results of your gastroscopy / colonoscopy when you are awake. Any medications required will be given to you at the same time.

  • You will be given some refreshments after you are fully awake.

  • How long will the procedure take?
    Generally, a colonoscopy takes less than 30 minutes. If there are polyps to be removed or abnormalities detected, it may take longer. Any polyps seen will be removed immediately and sent to the laboratories
  • What is a polyp?
    Colorectal polyps are abnormal growth of cells on the inner lining of the colon and rectum. They are common and incidence increases with age. Most polyps are benign (not cancer). But because polyps are caused by abnormal cell growth and, like cancer, grow through rapidly dividing cells, they can become cancerous. Through a colonoscopy, the polyp can be removed and sent for examination by a pathologist. Colonoscopy and removal of polyps decreases the incidence of colorectal cancer. Countries with colorectal cancer screening programs have reported a significant drop in colorectal cancer cases and deaths. This is due to early detection of colorectal polyps with colonoscopy, the removal of which prevents the development of cancer.
  • What is the treatment for colonic polyps?
    The treatment of colonic polyps involves performing a colonoscopy and removing the entire polyp. The removed polyp is then sent for histological examination to determine if it is benign (not cancer) or a malignant change (cancerous) has already occurred. Depending on the number and size of polyps removed, a follow up colonoscopy will be recommended from 1 to 5 years later. If there are any cancer cells found in the polyp, surgery may be required.
  • Can I do my gastroscopy and colonoscopy at the same time?
    Yes, we can schedule for gastroscopy and colonoscopy at the same visit.
  • How long is my recovery time?
    A colonoscopy is usually performed as an outpatient procedure, which means you will not have to spend the night in the hospital. With sedation, you will be placed under close monitoring at the endoscopy centre. You will be discharged when it’s safe to do so.
  • What are the alternatives to colonoscopy?
    Colonoscopy remains the gold standard of detecting and removal of colonic polyps. Other options can be considered for patients who are not fit for colonoscopy, or would like a non-invasive option. CT Colonography – this is a virtual colonoscopy performed by a CT scanner. It is being used to screen for polyps in the large intestine. After adequate bowel preparation, a tube is inserted into the rectum to inflate with gas while CT images of the colon and rectum are taken from various angles. Barium Enema – this entity is seldom used nowadays with the advent of CT colonoscopy. It involves using a white solution being inserted into the anus via a tube to coat the lining of the colon. This allows the colonic lining to be visible on X-ray, highlighting any difficulties of the white solution going through indicating an abnormality at the region. While these options are able to detect polyps in the colon, they are not as accurate as colonoscopy. In the event these polyps are found, colonoscopy will still have to be performed to remove them. Colonoscopy is still the recommended method for screening for colorectal cancer. Dr Tan will advice you according to your needs and preferences.
  • What are the risks of this procedure?
    Reaction to the sedation Perforation of the colon is rare, occurring in less than 0.1% of colonoscopy. Bleeding after polypectomies. Please inform Dr Tan if you are on blood thinners or anti-platelets medications. These are usually started if you had a stroke, heart attack or stent placed in your body. These medications are usually started by your GP, cardiologist or neurologist. Bleeding can occur immediately after the scope, or up to 10 days after the procedure. Abdominal Bloating – this usually settles within a day or two after the endoscopy. Sore throat
Frequently Asked Questions
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