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Starship Paediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Public Service

Colonoscopy

This is a procedure which allows the doctor to see inside your child's large bowel and examine the surfaces directly and take biopsies (samples of tissue) if needed.  Treatment of conditions can also be undertaken.
 
What to expect
The colonoscope is a flexible plastic-coated tube a little thicker than a ballpoint pen which has a tiny camera attached that sends images to a viewing screen. Your child will be given a general anaesthetic then a tube is passed into the rectum (bottom) and gently moved along the large bowel.  The procedure takes from 10 minutes to 1 hour and oxygen levels and heart rhythm are monitored throughout.
The procedure is performed in a day stay operating theatre. 
 
Before the procedure
Your child will need to follow a special diet and take some laxatives (medicine to make them go to the toilet) over the days leading up to the test.
 
Risks of a colonoscopy are rare but include:     
  • bleeding if a biopsy is performed          
  • perforation (tearing) of the bowel wall.

This page was last updated at 3:37PM on September 4, 2018.