Patients who undergo anorectal surgeries/treatments such as piles, fissure, fistula come back with recurrence of symptoms. This is often the fear !!
The aim of any surgical intervention or medical treatment is to minimise risk of recurrence while treating the disease and improving the quality of life.
Therefore it is important examine the colon to rule out predisposing diseases which cause recurrence. This procedure is called colonoscopy (Colon – large bowel; scopy – to see). Sometimes inflammation may be present in the colon, which leads to recurrence of the disease, for instance inflammatory bowel diseases. Treatment of the same may lead to early recovery and prevent recurrences.
Blood in stool, especially of recent onset warrants a colonoscopy to rule out colorectal disease such as malignancy.
Constipation of recent onset especially in elderly requires a colonoscopy (to rule out organic causes) before laxative or stool modifiers are advised.
Colonoscopy is a safe procedure and can be done under sedation to keep the patient comfortable. The endoscopist can visualise the entire large bowel and can take a biopsy if needed to confirm a diagnosis.
Today colonoscopy has gone a step further with technologies such as NBI – Narrow Band Imaging and zoom function. NBI uses only green and blue wavelength of light and enables the endoscopist to analyze the microvascular and microsurface pattern to determine the nature of the lesion – benign or malignant and detect them early. NBI also helps target the biopsies better.
It is therefore advisable to get a colonoscopy before any anorectal procedure to rule out predisposing factors and prevent recurrence.