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Colonoscopy

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Colonoscopy Clinic in Singapore

What Is a Colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a medical diagnostic exam that checks the large intestine and rectum for abnormalities, such as bleeding, inflammation and polyps. It is an effective test for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), diverticular disease and a preferred form of colorectal cancer screening in Singapore.

Our doctor has close to two decades’ specialist experience in colonoscopy and cancer management.
For more information, contact us at +65 6736 2302 today.

Who Should Go for a Colonoscopy?

Colonoscopy screening in Singapore is recommended for individuals who have the following risk factors of colorectal cancer:

  • Age: People who are 50 years old and above are generally recommended to undergo colonoscopy services in Singapore once every 10 years (if results come back negative and they have no other risk factors).
  • History of polyps: Patients who were found to have colon or rectal polyps in the past will need to have a follow-up colonoscopy procedure in Singapore. This will allow the colonoscopy doctor to check if any new polyps have grown, and to remove them immediately before they possibly turn malignant.
  • History of colon cancer: People who have had colon or rectal cancer before are required to undergo a colonoscopy more frequently as advised by their doctor, to ensure that the cancer does not recur.
  • Family history: People with a family history of colon cancer are advised to go through a colonoscopy earlier and more frequently as they are at a higher risk of developing the same condition.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease: Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, will need to have a colonoscopy more regularly. This is so as IBD inflames the colon and results in constant cell turnover in the intestinal lining. When this happens, the chances of cell irregularities increase, and so too does the risk of cancer.
  • Symptoms of colon cancer: People who notice signs and symptoms of colon cancer, such as prolonged abdominal discomfort, rectal bleeding, blood in the stool, weakness, and unexplained weight loss may also need to undergo a colonoscopy to confirm if it is cancer, or something else.
Reach out to our colonoscopy doctor for tailored advice on when and how often you should get screened, based on your risk levels.

How to Prepare for Your Colonoscopy Procedure

Some of the preparations for a colonoscopy screening procedure include:

  • Strictly adhere to a special diet: The colon needs to be completely empty before a colonoscopy can be done. Your doctor will advise you in greater detail of what kind of food you should eat or avoid in the days leading up to the procedure.
  • Take laxatives as prescribed: Laxatives prescribed by colonoscopy doctors in Singapore are normally taken the night before the procedure or the morning of the procedure. This ensures that the colon will be thoroughly cleared, thereby facilitating easy and complete access of the colonoscope throughout the entire length of the colon.
  • Disclose current medications: Patients must inform their doctor of all the medications they are currently taking, as some medications may increase the risk of complications.
  • Arrange a ride home: As it takes a while for the sedative effect to wear off, the patient should not drive or go home by themselves after the procedure. They should have a trusted person pick them up from the hospital.

What to Expect During Your Colonoscopy Screening

Some of the preparations for a colonoscopy screening procedure include:

  • Before the procedure: Healthcare providers require their patients to have a clean and empty colon to facilitate complete access of the scope throughout the colon. This can be achieved by having a strict diet of low-fibre and low-residue foods 3–4 days before the procedure. Then, 24 hours before the actual procedure, patients must drink clear liquids and stop eating solid foods. Laxatives will be prescribed to empty the colon beforehand.
  • During the procedure: A colonoscopy is performed while the patient is sedated. This ensures that he or she will be asleep and not feel any pain or discomfort throughout the procedure. The patient is also asked to lie on their side with his or her knees pulled up towards the chest. Once the patient is unconscious, the colonoscopy doctor will gently insert a lubricated colonoscope—a thin and flexible instrument attached with a light source and camera—through the rectum and into the colon. The images from inside the rectum and colon are broadcast onto a viewing monitor in real time. Air is also blown through the colonoscope to make the colon walls wider, allowing doctors to clearly check for polyps and other abnormalities. The colonoscope may be attached with forceps or a wire loop to remove polyps as well.
  • After the procedure: Once the colonoscopy is done, the patient is taken to a recovery room and monitored until he or she wakes up. He or she must be accompanied home by a family member or friend as he or she is not allowed to drive until the sedative fully wears off. Bloating and mild bleeding during the first few bowel movements after a colonoscopy are normal. However, if these persist, he or she should consult with the doctor.
Colonoscopies can help greatly in the prevention of cancer and effective treatment of early-stage cancer. Contact us at 6736 2302 for tailored advice.

FAQs

What do my colonoscopy results mean?

The results of a colonoscopy can either be positive or negative. Positive results mean that there are polyps or abnormal tissues in the colon, which need further assessment, while a negative result means that there are no polyps or abnormalities found. Most polyps are not cancerous, but some can be precancerous. Polyps removed during colonoscopy will be sent to a laboratory for analysis to determine whether they are cancerous, precancerous or noncancerous.

Is there any downtime after a colonoscopy?

Most of the time, patients will only experience some temporary bloating afterwards. If the procedure involved removal of polyps, full recovery may take a week and patients should avoid strenuous activities during that period of time.

How long should I stay in the hospital after a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy service usually takes 30 to 60 minutes to be done. Another 2-3 hours may be needed so that patients can rest and recover. Once cleared by their doctor, patients can be discharged to go home within the day itself.

How much does a colonoscopy cost in Singapore?

The cost of a colonoscopy in Singapore differs, depending on its purpose (diagnostic or therapeutic), hospital fees, doctor’s fee, anaesthesia and whether it is performed at a public or private hospital. The patient’s insurance coverage and Medisave will also impact the final amount. Do check with the colonoscopy clinic or hospital directly for personalised and accurate advice on cost.

Is colonoscopy in Singapore covered by insurance?

Yes, a colonoscopy is generally covered by private insurance, the amount depending on the policy purchased. Additionally, the procedure is also covered by Medisave for Singaporean citizens and PRs.

The Vascular & General Surgery Centre is a colonoscopy centre in Singapore led by Dr Sujit Singh Gill who is experienced in the management of a wide range of colorectal conditions. Call 6736 2302 for more information.

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