Colonoscopy Singapore: Is a Colonoscopy a Serious Procedure?

A colonoscopy is a procedure to detect polyps or any other serious disease in the bowels, especially in the lower part of the bowel. It could be said that it’s something like an X-ray for your intestines. We explain the basics on this page:

To perform it, the doctor inserts a long tube with a camera on its tip through your rectum into your bowels. Light is projected through the tube, and the doctor views what’s inside on a monitor. The reason for this is so that he’ll be able to detect anything unusual in your intestines in the early stages before it develops into something more serious.

For people contemplating colonoscopy in Singapore, a relatively common question we have had to answer for a long time is this; is colonoscopy a serious procedure? Now, the answer to this is pretty straightforward: Colonoscopy is a safe and medically approved procedure. 

It is done under sedation, so it’s not a particularly scary procedure. But things can go wrong, and the patient needs to be prepared for the risks and possible associated complications, such as blood loss and infection.

This is why we recommend that all patients undergo a pre-colonoscopy prep to clear their bowels, which will reduce any chance of post-procedure constipation. It’s also important to know that though rare, perforation can occur during either the insertion or withdrawal of the colonoscope. 

This most often happens in people who have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, but they are incredibly rare cases. So this isn’t something you want to worry about with other serious conditions already in your body. But it’s something you should definitely know about and discuss with your doctor before he performs the procedure. 

What could really happen to you during colonoscopy is that because you’re sedated, you can aspirate on their contents, causing aspiration pneumonia. It also increases the risk of a chest infection after surgery, so we always recommend that patients do deep breathing exercises or simple stretches just before going into surgery to help prevent this from happening.

With that being said, the possible risks associated with a colonoscopy in Singapore are extremely rare but nevertheless a possibility. And as such, it’s important to consider them before deciding whether a colonoscopy is viable for you at all times.

When you need a Colonoscopy and when you don’t need One

If any of your close relatives have had bowel cancer before age 50, or if they have IBD (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis), then you should get a colonoscopy done regularly after turning 40. After turning 50, you should also go for one if you are overweight, smokes heavily, aren’t physically active, and have high blood pressure, or have high cholesterol levels. Everyone between the ages of 50 and 75 should get one done if they have ever had any GI symptoms, such as weight loss or change in bowel habits.

Now that you know when to get a colonoscopy done, let’s discuss when you need a colonoscopy. The only time when colonoscopy is not considered necessary is if you are perfectly fine with your GI health right now. But even then, there are other tests doctors advise doing instead, which are equally effective in catching early signs or polyps before they grow into tumors or cancerous cells.

The benefits of having Colonoscopy

Colon cancer is the third most common cancer among men and women across the globe. If it’s detected early enough, then doctors can easily cure it. So the sole purpose of getting a colonoscopy in Singapore is to detect this cancer in its early stages when it’s still curable by itself through other methods like surgery.

Once the doctor has identified any abnormalities, he may advise you to get several follow-up tests, including blood tests and sigmoidoscopy/colonoscopies done at regular intervals for 5-10 years until these results are clear again. The idea behind doing so is that if any abnormalities are detected often enough, they can be dealt with before they turn into something serious. And this is why colonoscopies are so important in the early detection of potential bowel cancers, which will give you a better chance at survival against them.

The Risks of not Getting Colonoscopy

If you avoid screening completely and instead rely on chance, then the only way to detect the possible causes of your bowel cancer is through symptoms. And that can be after it’s already affected parts of your colon or even spread all over your body to other organs like the liver and lungs. 

So rather than depending entirely on luck and risking yourself and your family against something as serious as this, we recommend getting a colonoscopy once every five years. It’s better safe than sorry, especially if there are ways to reduce those chances by 90% or more. This is not heart surgery or any kind of invasive procedure. 

It’s actually considered relatively safe when compared to other tests, but there can be certain risks associated with it if you have some conditions that the doctor needs to take into consideration before performing a colonoscopy on you. So before agreeing to a colonoscopy procedure, make sure your doctor tells you all about these possible health risks.

What to Expect During and After Colonoscopy

Preparation for this test includes taking laxatives and disaccharide drinkable powder for about 72 hours before the procedure to clear out all contents from your intestines. You will also need to avoid eating solid foods 12 hours before the test itself. Before going through this test, however, the doctor will discuss the test procedure with you in detail to avoid surprises when it comes to time.

You will have to lie down on your left side during the actual colonoscopy itself while the doctor inserts a small fiber-optic tube through your rectum up to your intestines. This tube has a video camera attached at its tip, which sends live images back to the monitor for your doctor and an assistant watching them closely. 

You may experience mild discomfort during this phase, and some of you may even feel like vomiting. If the doctor finds anything suspicious, he might perform a biopsy or some other tests depending on what he finds during his explorations. He’ll also be taking samples of tissue from different parts of your intestine to test the quality of these tissues.

Final Words on Colonoscopy

Even if the test is not entirely safe, it’s still a lot safer than putting your life and that of your family in danger by treating colon cancer in its advanced stages. Depending on the situation, the procedure lasts for barely half an hour or sometimes just ten minutes at most. And even then, you don’t have to get it done every year because once you’re diagnosed with any irregularities; regular blood tests are usually advised to detect any possible changes before they develop into something serious. So wait no longer to take necessary precautions against this disease today because delaying could be fatal for yourself or someone else whom you love dearly. 

Did your primary doctor recommend colonoscopy, but you are not sure where to start? We offer colonoscopy in Singapore. To learn more about our colonoscopy services, you can visit our website today or call us at: 6255 1234 to schedule an appointment today.


Dr Ganesh (General Surgeon in Singapore) – Endoscopy, Colonoscopy, Gastroscopy
Suite 1 #05-23B, Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre, Singapore 329563
+65 6255 1234