When your colon commands all your attention, give it

Login to Health July 9, 2018 Lifestyle Diseases 9509 Views



Jaswinder was the typical middle-class housewife. She doted on her kids and whose world revolved around her husband and being his “right hand” so that he could focus and succeed in his little business of sourcing garments and selling them at wholesale rates to big stores and establishments.

As this was usually the case, Jaswinder never ever thought about caring for herself by tucking into wholesome food that she would make for the rest of the family or take adequate rest. Instead, she was too keyed up about every sundry detail in the household – whether it was a tube light that needed to be replaced or a toothbrush puppet to be made for those never-ending, increasingly demanding school projects.

She barely got time to socialize even with the neighbors and did not have any support system, not even a what’s app group for networking or bonding with other moms, family members, and friends. It was like living in an isolated bubble as if she was almost cut-off from the outside world. She did not even want to think of her abdominal pain which she felt seemed to get worse day by day. According to her, it would just be gas or a trivial issue and certainly not worthy of going to the doctor. A terrible mistake.

Whenever any ailment is diagnosed early, it is easier to rectify or control it than if it were diagnosed later. However, like most other Indian women, Jaswinder chose to ignore her pain and continued to place others’ needs and wants before her. What she urgently needed to do, was get a colonoscopy done by a Gastroenterologist and it has been found that some patients need to be given antibiotics even before a colonoscopy is performed

What is colonoscopy and when is it required?

A colonoscopy is defined as a vital examination to detect colon, meaning large intestine and rectum abnormalities. It is a procedure in which the colonoscope consisting of a long tube with a camera at the end, is inserted into the rectum, tissue samples were taken, polyps removed and basically used as a screening tool for colon cancer. It is a necessity for those women who have had polyps before. As a follow-up colonoscopy can reduce the risk of colon cancer by weeding out any additional polyps that may have developed.

It is important to bear in mind, that colonoscopy is a highly operator-dependent procedure and hence should be done at well-established hospitals known for specialists. Their expertise can be gauged through their adenoma detection rate.

Bowel preparation for colonoscopy

Laxatives are prescribed to clear the colon of fecal debris, before a colonoscopy. This is known as bowel preparation.

Why is it required to be done ? Because remnants could obstruct a clear view and a small growth like a polyp could go undetected. The remnants will also have implications for the procedure and hence should be cleared out before instead of having to be done during the procedure.

For optimal bowel preparation, many doctors recommend split dosing. However, few anesthesiologists would not recommend split-dosing. The medical team will also advise how to guard against dehydration and if blood-thinning medicines such as aspirin should be temporarily stopped.

Risks associated with colonoscopy

  • Perforation: is a major and most horrific risk associated with colonoscopy, whereby the colon gets punctured. It may happen during insertion of the colon scope or polyp removal. This type of risk is found to occur more among the elderly.
  • Adverse reaction to sedatives
  • Bleeding

These risks are negligible when a colonoscopy is done by a Gastroenterologist known in the field and should not be used as excuses to postpone a colonoscopy.