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What is a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a test regularly carried out in our Nuffield Health hospitals that allows our consultant to look at the inner lining of your large intestine, (rectum and colon). We use a thin, flexible tube called a colonoscope to look at the colon. A colonoscopy helps identify conditions such as ulcers, colon polyps, tumours and inflamed areas of inflammation.

Are there any alternatives to a colonoscopy?

Other options include a barium enema (an x-ray test of the large bowel) or a CT colography (a special scan of the large bowel).

What does the procedure involve?

  • If appropriate, the endoscopist may offer you a sedative or painkiller
  • A colonoscopy usually takes between half an hour and three-quarters of an hour
  • The procedure involves placing a flexible telescope into the back passage and blowing some air into the large bowel to get a clear view
  • The endoscopist will be able to look for problems such as inflammation or polyps
  • They will be able to perform biopsies and take photographs to help make the diagnosis.

What complications can happen?

  • Allergic reaction
  • Breathing difficulties or heart irregularities
  • Making a hole in the colon
  • Bleeding
  • Incomplete procedure.

How soon will I recover?

  • If you were given a sedative, you will normally recover in about two hours
  • You may feel a bit bloated for a few hours but this will pass
  • A member of the team will tell you what was found during the colonoscopy and will discuss with you any treatment or follow-up you need
  • You should be able to go back to work the day after the colonoscopy.

Summary

A colonoscopy is usually a safe and effective way of finding out if you have a problem with your large bowel.

Find your nearest hospital that provides this test
Bournemouth  

67 Lansdowne Road, Bournemouth, BH1 1RW

01202 291866
Overall rating View rating
Brentwood  

Shenfield Road, Brentwood, CM15 8EH

01277 695695
Overall rating Good
Brighton  

Warren Road, Brighton, BN2 6DX

01273 624488
Overall rating Good
Bristol  

3 Clifton Hill, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1BN

0117 906 4870
Overall rating Good
Cambridge  

4 Trumpington Road, Cambridge, CB2 8AF

01223 370 922
Overall rating Outstanding
Cardiff and Vale  

Cardiff Bay Hospital, Dunleavey Drive, Cardiff, CF11 0SN

02920 836700
Cheltenham  

Hatherley Lane, Cheltenham, GL51 6SY

01242 246 500
Overall rating Good
Chester  

Wrexham Road, Chester, CH4 7QP

01244 680 444
Overall rating Good
Chichester  

78 Broyle Road, Chichester, PO19 6WB

01243 530600
Overall rating Good
Derby  

Rykneld Road, Derby, DE23 4SN

01332 540100
Overall rating Good
Exeter  

Wonford Road, Exeter, EX2 4UG

01392 262110
Overall rating Good
Glasgow  

25 Beaconsfield Road, Glasgow, G12 0PJ

01413349441
Guildford  

Stirling Road, Guildford, GU2 7RF

Enquiries 0300 131 1401
Overall rating Good
Haywards Heath  

Burrell Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1UD

01444 456999
Overall rating Good
Hereford  

Venns Lane, Hereford, HR1 1DF

01432 355 131
Overall rating Good
Ipswich  

Foxhall Road, Ipswich, IP4 5SW

Enquiries 0300 1311419
Overall rating Good
Leeds  

2 Leighton Street, Leeds, LS1 3EB

01133 882 067
Overall rating Outstanding
Leicester  

Scraptoft Lane, Leicester, LE5 1HY

Enquiries 0300 1311416
Overall rating Good
Newcastle upon Tyne  

Clayton Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE2 1JP

0191 281 6131
Overall rating Good
North Staffordshire  

Clayton Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 4DB

01782 625431
Overall rating Good
Oxford  

Beech Road, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7RP

01865 307777
Overall rating Good
Plymouth  

Derriford Road, Plymouth, PL6 8BG

01752 775861
Overall rating View rating
Shrewsbury  

Longden Road, Shrewsbury, SY3 9DP

01743 282628
Overall rating Good
Taunton  

Staplegrove Elm, Taunton, TA2 6AN

01823 286991
Overall rating Good
Tees  

Junction Road, Norton, Stockton on Tees, TS20 1PX

01642 367439
Overall rating Outstanding
Tunbridge Wells  

Kingswood Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 4UL

01892 531111
Overall rating Good
Warwickshire  

The Chase, Old Milverton Lane, Leamington Spa, CV32 6RW

Enquiries 0300 131 1400
Overall rating Good
Wessex  

Winchester Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, SO53 2DW

02380 266 377
Overall rating Good
Woking  

Shores Road, Woking, GU21 4BY

Switchboard 01483 227800
Overall rating Good
Wolverhampton  

Wood Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, WV6 8LE

01902 793 269
Overall rating Good
York  

Haxby Road, York, YO31 8TA

01904 715000
Overall rating Good

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