A colonoscopy procedure allows physicians to examine the entire colon, from the rectum to the lower end of the small intestine.

Diagnostic/Screening Colonoscopy

Using a lighted flexible tube with a camera that transmits pictures of the colon on a video stream, the doctor examines the colon for ulcers, swelling (inflammation) or polyps (small growths). The physician can also take small tissue samples (biopsy) to look for infection, illness, early signs of cancer, and also remove polyps. Removed polyps are examined closely to determine if they are pre-cancerous. During a colonoscopy procedure patients receive a mild sedative and pain medication for comfort. A Registered Nurse assists the doctor during the procedure and a Sedationist/Anaesthetist monitors vital signs.

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

A flexible sigmoidoscopy is very similar to a colonoscopy and allows the physician to examine the rectum up into the descending colon. Sigmoidoscopy allows physicians to look for causes of diarrhoea, constipation or abdominal pain, and early signs of cancer in the descending colon and rectum. Polyps can also be removed during this procedure. This procedure is mildly uncomfortable and may be performed in the Doctor’s office.