Questions from Robert:
My doctor told me I need a colonoscopy. Can a colonoscopy examination damage my coccyx?
Thank you for your question regarding colonoscopy examination. Colonoscopy is a test where by a doctor inserts a long flexible viewing instrument into the rectum to examine the entire large bowel (colon). The examination is performed after over-night cleansing with laxatives. The colonsocopy is usually performed by a doctor in the evaluation of a explained anemia, blood loss in the intestinal tract, unexplained diarrhea, and/or change in bowel habits. Colonoscopy is also used in the diagnosis and evaluation of certain chronic conditions such as chronic ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Finally, colonoscopy can be used to screen for colon polyps and cancer. Some colon polyps are precursors to colon cancer. The majority of colon polyps found during colonoscopy can be removed completely at the time of the colonoscopy examination. Removing pre-cancerous polyps can prevent future develop of colon cancers. During colonoscopy, small tissue samples (biopsies) can also be obtained. These tissue biopsies can be studied under microscope to exclude colitis, infections, and cancer. Most patients are given sedative medications intravenously just prior to the examination. In experienced hands, colonoscopy can be performed successfully and safely. Known complications of colonoscopy include bleeding, especially from the polyp removal site, and perforation of the bowel. However, these complications are rare. Some patients complain of anal rectal irritation and pain during and after colonoscopy examination. This discomfort is usually brief. We are not aware of any reports of colonoscopy examinations damaging the coccyx. Please come back to visit the colonoscopy article, which should be published by July, 1996. Thanks again for your question…