A colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure to examine your colon lining. An endoscope, which is a long, thin, and flexible tube with a small camera attached, will be inserted into your colon through the anus.
At Raffles Surgery Centre, specialists are supported by GI Genius since 2021, an artificial intelligence (AI) module that enhances the accuracy of colonoscopy. The device is programmed based on machine learning technology, adopting similar algorithms used in various facial recognition applications.
During a colonoscopy, GI Genius assesses and processes each frame to highlight potential polyps and tumours. This helps endoscopists and specialists evaluate the entire colon with more precision, overcoming the challenge of identifying small polyps that may otherwise go unnoticed by the human eye.
In its early developmental stage, polyps can be as small as a few millimetres, which means that it cannot be identified as easily during a regular colonoscopy. Although polyps of this size are usually benign, if left alone for years, it can potentially become cancerous.
Raffles Hospital is the first private hospital in Singapore to implement AI in colonoscopy. It supports doctors in screening colonoscopy, surveillance colonoscopy, and diagnostic colonoscopy (to evaluate symptoms such as a change of bowel habits and rectal bleeding) to identify polyps and tumours for treatment. The technology facilitates doctors' decision-making and adds no additional risk to colonoscopy.
Related article: Colonoscopy with Artificial Intelligence: GI Genius
Who Should Go For a Colonoscopy?
You should go for a colonoscopy if:
- You show symptoms of colorectal cancer, such as:
- A positive result for your Faecal Occult Blood Test or Faecal Immunochemical Test
- Abdominal pain
- A change in bowel habits
- Sudden or unexplained weight loss
- Anal bleeding
- You have a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps
- You are 50 years old and above
How to Prepare for Your Colonoscopy
It is important to clear your colon of solid waste before your colonoscopy. You are required to take prescribed laxatives to induce bowel movement. If your colon is not cleared completely, remaining solid waste may obstruct your doctor from getting a clear view. In such cases, you will need to reschedule your colonscopy.
You may also need to take or avoid certain medications before your colonoscopy. Your doctor will give you further advice, depending on your situation.
What to Expect for Your Colonoscopy
The colonoscopy is usually performed as a day surgery procedure, which takes about 10-20 min. You will be given light sedation to ease any potential discomfort. You will be laid on the side, and your knees tucked into your body. During the procedure, the doctor will insert the endoscope into your colon through your anus. Additional procedures, such as biopsies and polyps removal, may be done if needed.
After your colonoscopy, you will be moved to our Day Surgery ward for observation until your sedative wears off. After that, we will serve you light refreshments, and your doctor will visit you to explain the results.
Make An Appointment
Make an appointment or contact the surgery centre to consult a surgeon. To make an appointment, select "Specialist Appointment". Under Specialist Appointment Details, select "General Surgery", and include Colonoscopy Screening in the Remarks.