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Treating Constipation with the Help of Colonoscopy

In cases of severe constipation or when the patient is in unbearable pain, treating constipation may include colonoscopy to enable the doctors to see what’s going on inside the patient’s intestines.

Colonoscopy is the process where a long, flexible, and lighted tube called a colonoscope, is inserted into the rectum and slowly guided into the colon area. The colon area pertains to the large bowel and is the last part of the digestive tract. It starts at the end of the small intestines and ends in the anus and rectum.

When treating constipation with colonoscopy, the images of the insides of the intestines are transmitted into a video screen so doctors get a better visibility of any inflamed tissue, ulcer, or abnormal growth within the intestinal walls and colon. A patient may be asked by the doctor to change positions during colonoscopy to get an image of the other parts of the colon.

Treating constipation with colonoscopy has made the diagnosis of the cause of severe constipation easier. Treating constipation has also become more accurate with the use of colonoscopy since it eliminates the need for trial and error medication.

More importantly, colonoscopy is used to detect early signs of colon cancer where severe constipation is just one symptom of the disease.

Treating Constipation with the Help of Sigmoidoscopy

Like colonoscopy, treating constipation with sigmoidoscopy lets doctors take a look at the last part of a patient’s colon called the sigmoid or descending colon. Unlike colonoscopy however, sigmoidoscopy is used mainly to determine the cause of constipation, diarrhea, or abdominal pain instead of colon cancer.

Sigmoidoscopy can detect bleeding, ulcers, inflammation, and abnormal growth within the descending colon area and rectum. Yet, it is incapable of detecting the presence of polyps or cancer in the upper portion of the colon which comprises 2/3 of the whole intestinal tracts.

The process of treating constipation with sigmoidoscopy is similar to colonoscopy. Lying on your left side, a long and flexible lighted tube called sigmoidoscope is inserted into the rectum. Images of the intestinal lining are also transmitted to a video screen to let doctors see any abnormalities in the colon.

The difference between treating constipation with sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy is that air is blown into the intestines during sigmoidoscopy to inflate the intestines and let the physicians get a better look.

The procedure only takes 10 to 20 minutes although the patient may experience slight pressure and abdominal cramping during the process. Treating constipation with sigmoidoscopy may also expose a patient to bleeding and puncture of the colon. Nevertheless, these possible side effects are quite uncommon.

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