The Kingston Endoscopy Centre is Kingston's newest healthcare facility, offering colonoscopy and gastroscopy services to the greater Kingston region. All procedures are done under conscious sedation (no general anaesthetics) and typically take less than 30 minutes. Preparation and recovery take place in a private bay in our state of the art Level 3 Ambulatory Surgery Centre. Family can wait in our spacious comfortable waiting room, and parking is free on site.
What is Colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is a procedure that allows the doctor to evaluate the inside of the colon (large intestine or large bowel). The colonscope is a long flexible tube with a camera and a light source at its tip. The tip of the colonscope is inserted into the anus and is slowly advanced into the rectum and through the colon.
In order to have a complete and accurate procedure the colon must be completely cleaned. There are several colonoscopy preparations and patients are given specific detailed instructions about the cleansing preparation. These instructions should be followed exactly as prescribed otherwise the procedure could have unsatisfactory results needing to be completed again or the procedure may be cancelled completely.
The procedure itself can take anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes but you will be at the centre for approximately 2 - 2.5 hours.
Intravenous sedation is administered by a licensed anaesthesiologist. The medication works very quickly and you will likely feel relaxed and sleepy. We remind patients that even though they are awake and may feel quite alert, you will be impaired for several hours after the procedure and will require someone to drive you home.
Patients will lie on their left side or back as the colonoscope is slowly advanced. Once the tip of the colon (cecum) or the last portion of the small intestine (terminal ileum) is reached, the colonoscope is slowly withdrawn, and the lining of the colon is carefully examined. Colonoscopy usually takes 15 to 60 minutes. If the entire colon, for some reason, cannot be visualized, the physician may decide to try colonoscopy again at a later date with or without a different bowel preparation or may decide to order an X-ray or CT of the colon.
Colonoscopy is generally a safe procedure however complications can occur.
Bleeding - an uncommon complication and may occur at the site of biopsy or removal of polyps. The bleeding usually is minor and can be controlled through the colonoscope by cautery.
Perforation - a tear or puncture in the bowel wall that can occur after colonoscopy. The risk is less than 1 in 1000 cases.
Other potential complications are; reaction to sedatives used, localized irritation to the vein where medication was injected or complications from existing heart or lung disease. The incidence of all these together is less than 1%.
While complications are rare it is important for patients to recognize early symptoms so they can return to the centre or an emergency room.
Colonoscopy is the best method available to detect, diagnose and treat abnormalities within the colon.