Colonoscopy is a very common procedure, done mostly because of ongoing digestive issues, or because the national bowel screening test detected some blood in your stool.

But don’t panic, there are alternatives. Let’s first look at a colonoscopy in more detail:

What is a colonoscopy?

Put simply, a colonoscopy is an examination of the bowel. The intestine is in the abdomen. A colonoscopy examines the colon and the end of the small intestine. In this way a specialist can recognize various diseases of the intestine such as:

  • Colon cancer
  • chronic or acute inflammation
  • Blood circulation disorders
  • Protuberances in the intestine

When does the doctor do a colonoscopy?

A person has ailments such as:

  • Blood in the stool
  • frequent diarrhea or constipation
  • severe abdominal pain
  • severe weight loss
  • severe flatulence

A colonoscopy is also used as a preventative measure. With a colonoscopy, colon cancer can be detected and treated early.

What happens during a colonoscopy?

The colonoscopy is usually an outpatient examination. This means: the patient only comes to the hospital for this examination. After the examination, the person is allowed to go home.

On the day of the colonoscopy, the patient goes to the hospital. There the patient usually gets a full anaesthetic. The colonoscopy takes about 30 minutes.

During a colonoscopy, the doctor inserts a tube into the patient’s anus. The tube is called: endoscope. In the endoscope is a camera with a lamp. Air or carbon dioxide dilate the intestines. This allows the doctor to see the lining of the intestine better. The doctor carefully pushes the endoscope up to the border of the large and small intestines. Then the doctor carefully pulls out the tube. When pulling out, the doctor examines the intestinal mucosa:

  • During this examination, does the doctor discover abnormal areas in the intestinal mucosa? Then the doctor takes a tissue sample.
  • During this examination, does the doctor discover small growths on the intestinal mucosa? Then the doctor can remove the growths.

NOTE: The patient is no longer allowed to drive himself that day. The patient is also not allowed to do any dangerous activities on this day.

How do you prepare for a colonoscopy?

There are a few things to consider in the days before the examination . You shouldn’t eat foods that contain grain. Grain-containing foods are for example:

  • cereal
  • Whole grain bread
  • tomatoes
  • Kiwi fruit
  • grapes

The day before the colonoscopy, you should only eat liquid foods like clear broth or bouillon, black coffee or tea, clear juice (apple, white grape), etc

Early : Eat, for example, a broth, juice or yoghurt for breakfast.

Noon : You can drink a clear vegetable broth for lunch.

From the afternoon onwards, you need to drink 2 liters of laxative solution (Moviprep or similar)

Evening : Do not eat anything after 6 p.m.

You must not eat anything on the day of the colonoscopy. You are only allowed to have some water.

After the examination, you can usually eat normally again. Follow the advice of your doctor.

What Moviprep contains:

Sachet A contains the following active substances:

  • Macrogol 3350 (polyethylene glycol, PEG), 100 g
  • Sodium sulfate 7.5 g
  • Sodium chloride 2.691 g
  • Potassium chloride 1.015 g
  • Sachet A also contains 233 mg of aspartame (E951).

Sachet B contains the following active substances:

  • Sodium ascorbate 5.9 g
  • Ascorbic acid 4.7g

The inactive ingredients in Moviprep are:

  • lemon flavour (containing lemon oil, lime oil, citral, xanthan gum, maltodextrin and Vitamin E),
  • sweeteners aspartame (E951)
  • potassium acesulfame (E950)

The complete treatment contains 8.4 g of sodium and 1.1 g of potassium

What are the benefits of a colonoscopy?

With a colonoscopy, you can accurately identify intestinal diseases. The doctor can examine the intestinal lining carefully. And the doctor can take tissue samples right away. For example, colon cancer can be detected early.

The doctor can also remove growths directly. Cancer may develop from these growths. The doctor removes the growths. Therefore, the risk of colon cancer decreases.

What are the risks of a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is fairly safe. Bleeding is very rare during a colonoscopy. Rarely the bowel can be damaged during the procedure.

After the colonoscopy, the patient may experience gas. But the flatulence usually stops after a few hours.

Your doctor will tell you more about the possible risks of the examination.

Do I really have to have a Colonoscopy?

  1. if you have a colonoscopy because your results from the national bowel screening test came back positive. You have the option to wait and repeat the test in a few months time. Especially if you do not have any other digestive issues. Often the result can change, in particular, if you have haemorrhoids it could show blood for this reason and not because something else is wrong with you. So your next test could well be negative.
  2.  you could have a Sigmoidoscopy instead. A Sigmoidoscopy only inspects the lower part of the bowel (Sigmoid). You do not need to have a full anaesthetic but can just stay awake or if necessary take some calming herbs or valium before the procedure.
    About 70% of all cancers of the large intestine occur below the midpoint of the descending colon (descending 10%, sigmoid 10%, rectum 50%).
  3. if you really need a colonoscopy you can do an alternative preparation that does not require you to take Moviprep
    This includes 3 days of taking Oxy-Powder (Magnesium based), Epsom Salt, having colonics and semi fasting.

To find out more, give us a call!


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