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Colonoscopy Singapore

Dr. John Hsiang: Specialist in Endoscopy and Gastrointestinal Conditions

Keep the No. 1 Cancer in Singapore at Bay. Prevention Starts with a Colonoscopy.

Colorectal Cancer is one of the most common cancers in Singapore affecting both men and women. Colonoscopy is a preventive measure for the disease.

Worldwide studies have shown that early detection and the removal of polyps through Colonoscopy can help save lives.

What is a Colonoscopy?

A Colonoscopy helps in the detection of abnormalities in your colon and rectum. This may include the detection of any swelling or abnormal tissue growths such as polyps or cancerous growths.

Through this procedure, your Doctor will also be able to remove any detected polyps and sample them for any signs of cancer, when required.

A Colonoscopy is done by having a Colonoscope inserted through the anus. This flexible tube is then carefully maneuvered by your Doctor to get an internal view of your rectum and colon.

gastroenterology specialist singapore


Dr. John Hsiang

MBChB (NZ), FRACP (Australasia), MD (Doctorate), FRCP (Edinburgh), FAMS (Gastro)

Dr. John Hsiang is a Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist with more than 20 years of clinical experience across public and private practice.

Dr. John Hsiang’s special clinical interests are in gastroesophageal reflux disease, stomach conditions, fatty liver, and gastrointestinal cancer screening

Dr. John Hsiang has spent more than five years in the Singhealth cluster serving in the Gastroenterology Department at Changi General Hospital and Sengkang General Hospital.

Clinical interests:

Gastrointestinal Diseases, Endoscopy, Helicobacter Pylori infection, Viral Hepatitis, Fatty Liver Disease, Management of Abnormal Liver tests.

When Colonoscopy Becomes Necessary:

How Does a Colonoscopy Work?

During a Colonoscopy, your Doctor will have you placed on your side with your knees pulled closer to your chest. Medications will be administered through an IV to help you remain comfortable throughout the procedure.

A colonoscope will then be inserted through the anus to get a visual of the interior of your colon and rectum. A colonoscope is a long, thin tube that is around half an inch in diameter and has a camera that transmits images of the lining of your intestine onto a screen. This allows your Doctor to observe any irregularities, remove any abnormal growths and take biopsies if required.

A Colonoscopy is usually not painful for most patients. The entire procedure will take between 15 to 30 minutes.

What Happens During Your Procedure

1) Sedation

During the procedure, you will be given sedation medication through an intravenous plug. This will help you relax and reduce any discomfort.

Almost all patients would fall asleep during the procedure. If the patient is well sedated, most patients do not experience pain or discomfort.

2) Insertion of Colonoscope

Once sedated, your doctor will insert a thin, flexible tube with a camera at the end (colonoscope) into your rectum and advance it through your colon.

The camera will transmit images to a monitor, allowing the doctor to thoroughly examine the lining of your colon.

3) Visualisation and Biopsies

As the colonoscope is advanced, it will inflate your colon with air to allow better visualisation. If necessary, your doctor may take biopsies (small tissue samples) to be sent for further analysis.

Sometimes, AI software is available in certain endoscopy centres to improve the detection of abnormalities during colonoscopy.

4) Recovery and Aftercare

After the procedure, you will be monitored until the effects of sedation wear off. You may experience some bloating or gas, and you may feel better after passing the gas out.

Your doctor will discuss any necessary aftercare instructions with you, including when to resume eating and drinking. It is advised that patients do not drive or operate on heavy machinery on the same of the the colonoscopy procedure.

Preparing for Colonoscopy

Before your colonoscopy, inform your doctor of any medical conditions you have and any medications you are currently taking.

Certain medications may need to be stopped or adjusted before the procedure.

Your doctor will provide specific dietary instructions to follow leading up to your colonoscopy. Typically, you will need to avoid high-fibre foods two days before the colonoscopy and switch to a clear liquid diet before the procedure.

This allows for better visualisation of your colon during the examination.

Be sure to inform your doctor of any medications you are currently taking, including over-the-counter medications and supplements. Certain medications such as blood thinners, diabetes medications may need to stopped few days before the procedure.

Your specialist will advise you whether you need to adjust or stop certain medications before the procedure.

Your doctor will require you to complete a bowel cleansing preparation to help clean out your colon before the colonoscopy. This often involves drinking special solution to help flush out faecal materials and make the colon clean enough for the doctor to detect polyp, cancer, or any abnormalities. .

It is essential to follow the instructions carefully for a successful colonoscopy.

Colonoscopy procedure requires an empty stomach, so you will be instructed to fast for at least 6 hours before the procedure. However, you may be allowed to drink clear liquids up to 4 hours before the procedure.

Common Questions about Colonoscopy

While complications are rare, they may include bleeding, perforation of the colon, or adverse reactions to sedation. The risk of bleeding and perforation is usually around 0.1% (or 1 in 1000), these are usually related to the therapeutic procedure undertaken during the colonoscopy, for example, removal of polyps.

Your healthcare provider will discuss the potential risks and address any concerns you may have.

It is recommended to avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting for at least 24 hours after the procedure. Your healthcare provider may also advise you to avoid certain medications, such as blood thinners, for a period.

If biopsies were taken during the colonoscopy, your doctor may provide specific instructions on how to care for the area where they were taken.

After the procedure, you may need some time to recover from the sedation. Your healthcare provider will provide guidance on when it’s safe to resume eating and drinking.

Typically, it is recommended to stick to a light diet initially, and then gradually reintroduce solid foods. Avoid heavy or spicy meals that may irritate your digestive system.

Foods that are easy to digest, such as soup, crackers, and toast, are usually recommended for the first meal. It is also important to drink plenty of fluids to flush out the remaining sedation medication from your system.

Your healthcare provider will discuss the findings shortly after the procedure.

In some cases, biopsies may be taken during the colonoscopy, and results from these tests may take a little longer to process. Your specialist will follow up with you in clinic to discuss further results in detail.

The recommended frequency for a routine colonoscopy depends on individual risk factors, such as family cancer history,  personal health history and the number of polyps removed during the index colonoscopy. It is best to follow the advice of your healthcare provider regarding when to schedule your next screening.

In some cases, a second colonoscopy may be necessary if there are abnormal findings or persistent symptoms after your first procedure. Your doctor will discuss the need for further tests or procedures with you.

Dedicated Insurance Support

We understand that navigating the financial aspect of healthcare can be overwhelming. We welcome all patients with or without insurance and can assist with claims regardless of your personal or corporate insurance plan. Here at Richmond Gastroenterology Centre, we strive to ensure the most efficient claims process for our patients. To that end, our team works diligently with their insurers to obtain Letters of Guarantee and pre-authorization certificates prior to any procedures.

Make an appointment to consult our Doctor.

We understand your anxieties and we are here to support you throughout your health journey. If you have questions or would like to seek a 2nd opinion, send us your message via the form below.

To get an immediate response, you may also call us at: 6517 9958

Dr. John Hsiang is an Accredited Specialist Across All Private Hospitals in Singapore.