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Q&A – Colonoscopy

Here are some answers to your questions

Why did my doctor recommend a colonoscopy to me?

The most common reasons for undergoing a colonoscopy are screening for colon cancer and investigating the potential causes of the following signs and symptoms:

    • Abdominal pain
    • Rectal bleeding
    • Chronic constipation
    • Chronic diarrhea
    • Other gastrointestinal disorders

How does the colonoscopy procedure work?

Colonoscopy is performed using an instrument called a colonoscope. This instrument consists of a flexible tube connected to a light source and a miniature camera, all of which are linked to a monitor that allows the practitioner to have a direct and precise view during the examination.


During the examination, the colonoscope is inserted through the anus and gradually advanced to the colon. Gas is introduced into the intestine to ensure a clear visualization of all the walls.


If polyps are detected, the gastroenterologist can take samples using forceps. The collected tissues will then be analyzed under a microscope in a laboratory.


The examination lasts only about thirty minutes and is done on an outpatient basis, which means the patient can return home a few hours after waking up, provided that they are accompanied by a chosen person.

Is the procedure painful?

Sometimes, colonoscopy goes smoothly and causes only very slight discomfort, but some people experience significant discomfort when attempting to undergo the examination without sedation. However, the decision to perform the examination with or without sedation should be made jointly by the treating physician and the patient.

When will I receive the results?

Some results of the colonoscopy are available immediately after the procedure. As soon as the effects of the anesthesia have worn off, the doctor will communicate the results to the patient or their representative. However, it may take a few days to obtain the results of a biopsy.

Références :

  1. Mayo Clinic. Tests and Procedures. Colonoscopy. Accessible à l’adresse : http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/colonoscopy/basics/definition/prc-20013624?p=1. Consulté le 21 avril 2015.
  2. Fondation canadienne de la santé digestive. Comprendre la coloscopie. Accessible à l’adresse : http://www.cdhf.ca/bank/document_fr/48la-coloscopie.pdf. Consulté le 5 mai 2015.
  3. Douglas K. Rex, M.D. 10 Questions You Need to Ask About Colonoscopy. New York Times. com. Accessible à l’adresse : http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/24/health/esn-colonoscopy-expert.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&. Consulté le 21 avril 2015.
  4. Armstrong D, Barkun A, Bridges R, et al. Canadian Association of Gastroenterology consensus guidelines on safety and quality indicators in endoscopy. Can J Gastroenterol. 2012 Jan;26(1) : 17-31. Accessible à l’adresse : http://www.pulsus.com/journals/abstract.jsp?sCurrPg=journal&jnlKy=2&atlKy=10418&isuKy=1007&isArt=t Consulté le 14 mai 2015
  5. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Colonoscopy. Accessible à l’adresse : http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/diagnostic-tests/colonoscopy/Documents/ColonoscopyFS_T_508.pdf. Consulté le 5 mai 2015.