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General enquiries:
+44 (0)207 935 4444
Book an appointment:
+44 (0)207 616 7693
Self-pay enquiry:
+44 (0)203 219 3315

What is a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a procedure to look at the inside of your large bowel (colon) using a flexible telescope.

Figure showing a colonoscopy

What are the benefits of a colonoscopy?

If the endoscopist (the person doing the colonoscopy) finds a problem, they can perform biopsies (removing small pieces of tissue) to help make the diagnosis.

Sometimes a polyp (small growth) is the cause of the problem and the endoscopist may be able to remove it during the procedure.

Are there any alternatives to a colonoscopy?

Other options include a barium enema (an x-ray test of your large bowel) or a CT colography (a scan of your large bowel).

What does the procedure involve?

A colonoscopy usually takes 30 to 45 minutes.

If appropriate, the endoscopist may offer you a sedative or painkiller which they can give you through a small needle in your arm or the back of your hand.

The endoscopist will place a flexible telescope into your back passage. Air will be blown into your large bowel to help the endoscopist have a clear view. The endoscopist will be able to look for problems such as inflammation or polyps. They will be able to perform biopsies and take photographs to help make the diagnosis.

What complications can happen?

Some of these can be serious and can even cause death.

  • Allergic reaction
  • Breathing difficulties or heart irregularities
  • Blurred vision
  • Bleeding from a biopsy site or from minor damage caused by the telescope
  • Bleeding, if a polyp is removed
  • Infection
  • Making a hole in your colon
  • Incomplete procedure

How soon will I recover?

If you were given a sedative, you will usually recover in about 2 hours but this depends on how much sedative you were given. You may feel a bit bloated for a few hours but this will pass.

You should be able to return to work the next day unless you are told otherwise.

The healthcare team will tell you what was found during the colonoscopy and discuss with you any treatment or follow-up you need.

Regular exercise should improve your long-term health. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

Summary

A colonoscopy is usually a safe and effective way of finding out if there is a problem with your large bowel.

Colonoscopy treatment cost

The London Clinic offers affordable, competitive self-pay packages for screening tests. An All-inclusive package for this treatment is available from £2,075.

Please call +44 (0)20 3219 3315 to speak to our helpful team to find out more and to book an appointment.

Disclaimer

The operation and treatment information on this website is published under license by The London Clinic from EIDO Healthcare UK and is protected by copyright laws. Other than for your personal, non-commercial use, you may not copy, print out, download or otherwise reproduce any of the information. The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you

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Main numbers

General enquiries: 020 7935 4444 Appointments: 020 7616 7693 Self-Pay: 020 3219 3315

Other numbers

Concierge service: 020 3219 3323International office: 020 3 219 3266Invoice and payment enquiries: 020 7616 7708

Your call may be recorded for training and monitoring purposes.

Medical service numbers

Breast services appointments: 020 7616 7653 Diagnostics appointments: 020 7616 7653 Endoscopy appointments: 020 7616 7760 Eye centre appointments: 020 7616 7768 Haematology appointments: 020 7535 5503 Kidney services appointments: 020 7224 5234 Liver services appointments: 020 7616 7719 Physiotherapy appointments: 020 7616 7651 Radiology appointments: 020 7616 7653

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