Dr. med. Thomas Brunk Gastroenterology Berlin

What is a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is an endoscopic examination of the colon and rectum. A thin, flexible tube with a camera and a light source is inserted into the bowel via the anus. The images are displayed on a monitor and can be saved or printed out.

Why is a colonoscopy performed?

A colonoscopy is performed to detect or rule out diseases or changes in the colon or rectum. The possible diseases include:

  • Inflammations or ulcers
  • Polyps or tumors
  • Bleeding or injuries
  • Diverticula or hemorrhoids

A colonoscopy can also have therapeutic purposes, for example:

  • Hemostasis in case of bleeding
  • Removal of polyps or tumors
  • Removal of foreign bodies
  • Insertion of stents for constrictions

How do I prepare for a colonoscopy?

You must be sober to allow a good view of the mucous membranes. This means that you must not eat or drink anything for at least six hours before the examination. You should also discuss your medication with your doctor, as some of it may affect the examination. For example, blood-thinning medication must be discontinued beforehand.

In order to empty the bowel completely, you must drink a laxative solution provided by your doctor on the day before and on the day of the examination. You will find the exact instructions for this in the package leaflet. It is important to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, e.g. water, clear juices, clear broth or tea.

How does a colonoscopy work?

For the examination, you will be positioned on your left side and connected to a monitoring unit. This continuously measures pulse, blood pressure and oxygen saturation. Before and during the examination, you will be given a sleeping pill in an appropriate dosage. You will therefore not notice anything of the examination itself. If you wish, the sleeping pill can also be dispensed with. The colonoscope is carefully inserted into the bowel via the anus and gently advanced to the beginning of the large intestine or the end of the small intestine. Any residual staining can be rinsed away for optimum assessment. The assessment of the mucous membrane and, if necessary, endoscopic treatments, such as polyp removal, are carried out during the retreat. To achieve this, the intestines must be allowed to develop. This is done by introducing CO2 via the endoscope. CO2 is quickly absorbed by the body and eliminated via the air we breathe. Therefore, there is usually no discomfort due to flatulence at the end of the examination. The examination usually takes 15 to 30 minutes.

What are the risks of a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a safe and gentle examination that rarely leads to complications. Possible complications include

  • Irritation or injury to the
  • Throat or teeth
    Bleeding or perforations in the intestine
  • Infections or allergic reactions
  • Side effects of the sedative

If you have pain, fever, blood in your stool or vomiting after the examination, you should contact us immediately. If you are unable to reach us outside the surgery’s opening hours, please contact the emergency department of a hospital.

What should I do after a colonoscopy?

After the examination, you will be monitored in a relaxation room until the effects of the sleeping pills wear off. This can take up to an hour. Afterwards you can eat and drink again, but you should take it easy and avoid alcohol. As the sedative impairs your ability to react, you must not drive or operate machinery yourself. You should have someone accompany you home.

I need a colonoscopy, what happens now?

If you have any questions about the examination or would like to make an appointment, please contact our practice. We will be happy to advise you and provide you with further details.