Why would I have a colonoscopy and what is involved?

A colonoscopy is an effective way of diagnosing bowel conditions or removing polyps. It is a camera test that allows direct visualisation of the inside of the large bowel (colon), and the end of the small bowel (terminal ileum).

Carrying out a colonoscopy helps the London Digestive Health team to both diagnose and exclude bowel cancer, polyps and inflammation of the bowel (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease).


What does a colonoscopy involve?

As your bowel needs to be clean before the test, your LDH consultant will give you dietary instructions and bowel cleansing medication to take beforehand. The colonoscopy can be done under local anaesthetic, and usually lasts between 20 - 35 minutes. You’ll be asked to lie on your left side.

Your LDH consultant will likely follow these steps:

Pass a thin camera through your back passage (anus), through to the junction between the small and large bowel.
Inspect your bowel as the camera is withdrawn.
Biopsy samples of your bowel lining may be taken using small forceps that are passed through the endoscope.

If colon polyps are seen inside the bowel, they are usually removed by passing a snare (metal loop) through the camera, placing it around the polyps and then closing it to cut the polyp away.

As part of our patient care service at London Digestive Health, we aim to give you your colonoscopy results before you go home, or a few days after if biopsies were taken.

Contact us

If you have any questions about London Digestive Health, you can get in touch with us by phone or email. We'll be happy to answer any questions and can also help you book an appointment.



Call:  020 7616 7645
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