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Examination of the Large Intestine

Dedicated Colonoscopy Centre In Singapore

Colorectal cancer is Singapore’s most commonly diagnosed cancer. It is the number 1 cancer for males and number 2 cancer for females. It usually develops silently, without any symptoms at all. Colorectal cancer usually only manifests symptoms in its advanced stage. 60% or more of colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented with a Colonoscopy, the most accurate type of screening for this disease. This is because abnormal growths, also known as polyps, can be removed during a colonoscopy before they even have a chance to turn cancerous.


What Is A Colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a procedure to look inside your colon (large intestine) and examine its lining. The main tool used to look inside the colon is a colonoscope, which is a soft and flexible tube that is long and thin about the width of a finger. A tiny video camera that’s located at the end of the
colonoscope enables doctors to view the inside of the entire colon. If needed, polyps and other types of abnormal tissues can be removed using the scope during colonoscopy. Biopsies (or tissue samples) can also be taken during the procedure.

Gastroenterologists and surgeons are the specialists that perform colonoscopies. In Singapore, they receive special training to carry out the procedure and also to diagnose various diseases.

Apple Chan shares her Colonoscopy experience

Behind the scene (Colonoscopy & Gastroscopy)


Why is Getting a Colonoscopy So Important?

Colonoscopy is the primary tool for colon cancer prevention. Colon cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths worldwide, including Singapore. The 5 year survival rate for Stage 1 Colorectal Cancer is around 90% but it drops to around 15% for Stage 4. Screening for colorectal cancer through colonoscopies can help to catch
the disease in its earliest stages, when it is most treatable.

Anyone with a moderate risk of colon cancer (such as a person aged 50 and above) would need a colonoscopy to see if there are any polyps (abnormal growths). If you have a family history of colon cancer, you should start getting a colonoscopy earlier.

Who Needs To Undergo A Colonoscopy?

Some digestive symptoms that may need the colonoscopy to investigate are:
Risk factors for colon cancer include:

Your Colonoscopy At Curasia

What To Expect During The Procedure?



Sedation will be given intravenously before the procedure commences.

Colonoscope Insertion

Colonoscope is gently inserted into the anus.


Colonoscope transmits the images as it moves to the other end of the large intestine.


You will stay in a recovery room until the sedation wears off.

Your Treatment Roadmap

Preparing For A Colonoscopy

Before the procedure, you will need to empty (clean out) your colon. Any residue in the colon might make it difficult for doctors to get a good view of the rectum or colon during the procedure. 

For a successful colonoscopy, you should follow the instruction of the bowel preparation given to you.

You should fast for at least 6 hours prior to your colonoscopy. You may drink clear fluid up to 2 hours before the procedure but milk is not allowed during the fasting.

Pregnant women or patients with kidney, heart, or liver problems may be at additional risk during the bowel preparation as some of the medications given may cause electrolyte imbalance and dehydration. These patients should continue to monitor themselves and to stop the bowel preparation if they notice anything abnormal. They should also immediately consult their doctor if they feel unwell during the bowel preparation. 

You should also tell your doctor about any allergies you have and about any prescription and over-the-counter medications you’re taking. For your safety, the doctor may tell you to change your dosage or to stop taking certain medications before the endoscopy.

Is Colonoscopy A Safe Procedure?

A colonoscopy, performed by a qualified and experienced gastroenterologist or surgeon, is a safe procedure that involves minimal discomfort for the patient. Although there is a risk of perforation and bleeding, it is extremely rare, occurring in 1 in every 1000 cases.

You may also experience some of the common side effects such as belly discomfort or bloating.  This is because the specialists may use air to insufflate the colon. They might
also use a suction device, water, or certain surgical tools to take off a polyp. All of the aforementioned can stretch and distend the colon so it is possible for patients to feel
uncomfortable for a day or two after the procedure. However, the discomfort will naturally resolve itself after a while.

Why Choose Curasia For Your Colonoscopy?

Accredited Colorectal Specialist

Our specialists are all experienced and accredited by Specialists Accreditation Board (SAB).

Located in Heartlands

Our centre is conveniently located at Jurong East and easily accessible from any neighborhood.

Dedicated Colonoscopy Centre

We hold ourselves to the highest of standards as the center is accredited by the Ministry of Health.

Transparent Pricing

Our centre provides pricing information before the procedure, not after.

Frequently Asked Questions

Polyps are mushroom-like tissue growths that occur on the inside wall of the colon or rectum, and they can grow slowly over the years and become cancer. Once detected, the polyps will be removed (a process called polypectomy) during the colonoscopy and colorectal cancer would be prevented.

You will be given sedation to make you sleepy during the colonoscopy and the effects usually take around an hour to wear off. However, it is common that you may still feel the effects throughout the day even after being discharged. Hence, you must not drive, work or make any important decision after the procedure. Medical Certificate will be issued if needed and you should rest at home for the rest of the day. 

In some instances, you can pass gas or feel bloated some hours after. This is normal as you are clearing air from the colon. You can try walking to ease the discomfort. Some might notice very small blood in their bowel after the procedure. In most cases, this is not a cause for concern. However, if you continuously have fever, pass blood, and experience abdominal pain, you need to visit your doctor right away.

Yes, you can claim up to $1,250 depending on whether you have other procedures (like biopsy) performed during your colonoscopy. Please feel free to contact us to obtain precise colonoscopy fees. Our friendly clinic staff will be glad to assist you with the available financing options.

No! Over the years, there has been much improvement to colonoscopy preparation. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not as troublesome or unpleasant as many people think.

You will be prescribed medications to take the day before that will help you empty your bowels so that the specialists will be able to get a clear view of your colon during the procedure. It’s a very simple preparation for something that can be lifesaving.

You shouldn’t eat or drink anything before the procedure. This includes gum or mints. However, you can usually have clear liquids after midnight 6-8 hours before the endoscopy if your procedure is in the afternoon.

Clear liquids include:

  • Water
  • Coffee without cream
  • Apple juice
  • Clear soda
  • Broth


You should avoid drinking anything red or orange as the specialist may mistake this for blood through the
endoscope during the colonoscopy.

Blood tests might be done before the procedure to check the blood level and how well it clots. If you are taking maintenance medications, you need to inform the doctor about it so they will know if you are taking something that changes how your blood clots.

You should also tell your doctor about any allergies you have and about any prescription and over-the-counter medications you’re taking.

Some medications can increase your risk for bleeding during the procedure. These medications include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Heparin
  • Warfarin (Coumadin)
  • Aspirin
  • Any other blood thinners


Any medications that cause drowsiness can interfere with the sedatives that the procedure will require. Antianxiety medications and many antidepressants could affect your response to the sedative. If you take insulin or other medications to control diabetes, it’s important to make a plan with your doctor so that your blood sugar does not get too low.

Meet Our Specialist

Dr Dennis Koh

Clinical Governance Officer



Dr Dennis Koh graduated from University of Nottingham, United Kingdom with a Bachelor in Medicine and Bachelor in Surgery (MBBS) as well as a Bachelor in Medical Science. He then furthered his medical education and embarked on his surgical training in Singapore. He obtained his Master of Medicine in Surgery from National University of Singapore in 2005.

Introducing Curasia Endoscopy Centre

Our host, Jerald Foo, will be taking you to our first centre at Jurong East.

What is Colonoscopy? All the Basics You Need to Know

Colonoscopy is a procedure where a doctor uses a scope or colonoscope to look inside the colon or rectum. Colonoscopy can show ulcers, polyps, swollen tissue, and cancer. During the procedure, a long and flexible tube known as the colonoscope is inserted into the rectum.

A tiny video camera that’s located at the end of the colonoscope enables doctors to view the inside of the entire colon. If needed, polyps and other types of abnormal tissues can be removed using the scope during colonoscopy. Biopsies (or tissue samples) can also be taken during the procedure.

A colonoscopy may be recommended in the following scenarios:

  • Screen for colon cancer. If you are 50 years old (or older) and at average risk of colon cancer, your doctor might recommend getting a colonoscopy every 10 years. If you have other risk factors, your doctor might recommend getting a colonoscopy sooner. The procedure is one of a few options for colon cancer screening.
  • Look for polyps. If you had polyps before, a follow-up colonoscopy may be recommended to look for (and remove) additional polyps. This is done to minimize your risk of developing colon cancer.
  • Investigate intestinal symptoms and signs. The procedure is used to help doctors explore the possible causes of rectal bleeding, chronic diarrhea, abdominal bleeding, and other intestinal problems.
  • Treat other issues. At times, colonoscopy is carried out for other treatment purposes like removing an object in the colon or placing a stent.


Colonoscopy has very few risks. Some of the rare complications of the procedure can include:

  • Reaction to the sedative used during the procedure
  • A tear (perforation) in the rectum wall or colon
  • Bleeding from the site where the biopsy (sample tissue) was taken


Before the procedure, you will need to empty (clean out) your colon. Any residue in the colon might make it difficult for doctors to get a good view of the rectum or colon during the procedure. To empty your colon, you may be asked to:

  • Take a bowel prep. A prescription bowel prep might be recommended, either in liquid or pill form. Typically, you will be instructed to take the bowel prep the night before the procedure. It is also possible that you will be asked to use the bowel prep the night prior and the morning of the procedure.
  • Follow a special diet the day before the procedure. Usually, you will be instructed not to eat any solid food the day before the procedure. Your drinks may be limited to clear liquids like tea, plain water, carbonated beverages, and coffee without cream or milk. You also need to avoid red liquid as it can be mistaken for blood.
  • Adjust your medications. Inform your doctor about your medications a week before the procedure. This is especially important if you are taking medications for high blood pressure or diabetes or if you are taking supplements and medications that contain iron. You need to also inform your doctor if you are taking aspirin or other medications that thin the blood or heart medications that can affect the platelets.

Either your doctor will stop your dosage or you will be asked to stop taking the medications for the time being. If your doctor has any concerns about the quality of the view through the scope, a repeat colonoscopy might be recommended.

It is also possible that a shorter time may be recommended until your next colonoscopy. If the doctor is unable to advance the scope through your entire colon, a virtual colonoscopy might be recommended so your doctor can examine the rest of your colon.

What are Colonoscopy Screening Guidelines for Colorectal Cancer

Screening for colorectal cancer through colonoscopies can help to catch the disease in its earliest stages, when it is most treatable. Polyps are growths on the lining of the colon or rectum that may eventually turn into cancer.

Colonoscopy screening allows doctors to not only detect cancer, but also to remove polyps before they have a chance to become cancerous. That is why it’s important to talk to your doctor about when you should start getting screened for colorectal cancer.

Since colorectal cancer won’t manifest any symptoms until its advanced stage, it is crucial for people to talk with their doctors about the pros and cons of colonoscopy screening tests and how often it should be given.

Who is at risk of colorectal cancer?

The risk of colorectal cancer increases with age, and it is more common in people over the age of 50.

Other risk factors for colorectal cancer include a family history of the disease, obesity, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle.

People with inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis are also at increased risk.

While there is no sure way to prevent colorectal cancer, certain lifestyle choices can reduce your risk. These include eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting regular screenings. If you are at high risk for colorectal cancer, you may need to be screened more frequently.

Have you previously had polyps removed?

A colonoscopy allows a doctor to check for abnormal growths, such as polyps or cancer. It can also be used to treat certain conditions, such as bleeding or blockages in the colon or rectum.

Most patients are required to get a colonoscopy every five years, although this may vary depending on risk factors such as family history or previous polyp removal. The procedure is typically performed under sedation, meaning that you will be asleep during the exam.

People with a history of colorectal cancer

It is important for patients who have had colorectal cancer to have regular colonoscopies. This is because the cancer can come back, and it is important to catch it early.

The interval between colonoscopies will be different for each person, depending on how high their risk is. Patients should talk to their doctor about how often they should have a colonoscopy.

There are other tests that can be done, but colonoscopies are the most effective way to detect cancer.

Persons who had radiation in the belly or pelvic area

While screening for colorectal cancer is recommended for all adults over the age of 50, patients who have had radiation therapy in the abdomen or pelvis are at increased risk for developing the disease and may need to start screenings earlier.

Radiation therapy is a common treatment for cancers such as ovarian cancer and prostate cancer, and can be an effective way to kill cancer cells. However, radiation can also damage healthy tissue, including the cells lining the colon and rectum. This damage can lead to changes in the colon that can eventually result in cancer.

For this reason, it is important for patients who have had radiation therapy to talk to their doctor about their risks and discuss when they should start getting screened for colorectal cancer.

People experiencing inflammatory bowel disease

IBD, or inflammatory bowel disease, is a condition that causes chronic inflammation in the digestive tract. IBD can be very painful and debilitating, and patients often suffer from a range of other symptoms, including fatigue, weight loss, and diarrhea.

Unfortunately, IBD also puts patients at a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer. The inflammation caused by IBD can damage the lining of the colon, making it more susceptible to cancerous growths. In addition, patients with IBD are often prescribed immunosuppressive drugs to control their symptoms, which can also increase their risk of cancer.

Medisave & Insurance Shield Plan Approved

For Singaporeans & Singapore Permanent Residents

We provide comprehensive financing options for a seamless and hassle-free screening experience for our patients with various insurance plans. Some plans include cashless services for colonoscopies. To learn more about your financing options and check your eligibility for a cashless procedure, contact our friendly clinic staff for assistance.

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