Treatment Duration

30 Minutes


60 Minutes

Treatment Cost

Rs 3,000


Rs 50,000

Comprehensive Guide to Colonoscopy: Procedure, Benefits, and Costs in India

Colonoscopy is a vital medical procedure that plays a crucial role in the early detection and prevention of various colorectal diseases, including colon cancer. It is a minimally invasive diagnostic test that allows physicians to examine the inner lining of the colon and rectum using a long, flexible tube with a camera on its tip. This procedure is considered the gold standard for investigating gastrointestinal issues, and it provides valuable insights into the health of the colon.

What is Colonoscopy?

Colonoscopy is a medical procedure used to visualize the inside of the colon and rectum. It involves the use of a colonoscope, a long, flexible tube with a small camera at the end, which is carefully inserted through the rectum and guided through the entire length of the colon. As the colonoscope is advanced, it transmits real-time images to a monitor, allowing the physician to thoroughly examine the lining of the colon for abnormalities, such as polyps, tumors, inflammation, or bleeding.

Who Needs Colonoscopy?

1. Screening for Colon Cancer:

Colonoscopy is primarily used for colon cancer screening in individuals aged 45 and older. Regular screening is essential to detect precancerous growths (polyps) and early-stage cancers when they are more treatable.

2. Diagnosis of Gastrointestinal Issues:

Patients experiencing symptoms like unexplained abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, chronic diarrhea, or changes in bowel habits may require a colonoscopy to diagnose underlying gastrointestinal conditions.

3. Monitoring of Chronic Conditions:

People with a history of colorectal issues, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or a family history of colon cancer, may need regular colonoscopies to monitor their condition and detect any changes.

4. Follow-Up after Surgery:

Colonoscopy can be used as a follow-up procedure after colorectal surgery to ensure that the surgical site has healed properly and to detect any potential complications.

5. Evaluation of Unexplained Anemia:

In cases of unexplained anemia, colonoscopy can help identify the source of bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract.

How is Colonoscopy Performed?

Colonoscopy is performed in a hospital or outpatient facility. Here's how the procedure is typically carried out:

1. Preparation: Before the colonoscopy, the patient must undergo a thorough bowel preparation, which involves emptying the colon by drinking a special solution and fasting for a specified period. A clean colon provides a clear view for the examination.

2. Sedation: During the procedure, the patient is given sedation to help them relax and minimize discomfort. Some individuals may choose to remain awake but sedated, while others may prefer deep sedation or anesthesia to ensure they feel no pain.

3. Insertion of the Colonoscope: The colonoscope is carefully inserted through the rectum and advanced slowly through the colon. The camera on the tip of the scope transmits images to a monitor, allowing the physician to inspect the colon's lining.

4. Biopsy or Polyp Removal: If any abnormalities or polyps are detected during the colonoscopy, the physician can take tissue samples (biopsies) or remove polyps for further examination or treatment.

5. Withdrawal and Examination: As the colonoscope is withdrawn, the physician thoroughly examines the colon's lining. Any issues or concerns are documented and discussed with the patient.

6. Recovery: After the procedure, patients are monitored in a recovery area until the effects of sedation wear off. They may experience mild cramping or bloating, but these side effects are typically short-lived.

What to Expect from Colonoscopy?

Colonoscopy is a safe and effective procedure, but it's natural to have some concerns. Here's what you can expect:

1. Discomfort:

Most patients experience minimal discomfort, mainly due to the air used to inflate the colon. This can cause temporary bloating and gas, but it typically resolves soon after the procedure.

2. Sedation:

You may feel drowsy or groggy after the procedure due to the sedation. It's important to arrange for someone to drive you home as you won't be able to drive or operate heavy machinery for a few hours.

3. Diet:

Your doctor will provide post-procedure dietary guidelines. You may be advised to start with a light diet and gradually reintroduce solid foods.

4. Results:

You'll receive the results of your colonoscopy from your healthcare provider. If any abnormalities are found, further treatment or follow-up may be recommended.

5. Follow-Up:

Depending on your individual health and findings from the colonoscopy, your doctor will discuss the need for future screenings or treatments.

What is the Cost of Colonoscopy in Top Indian Hospitals?

The cost of colonoscopy in India can vary depending on the hospital, location, and whether it is performed as an outpatient or inpatient procedure. On average, the cost of a colonoscopy in top Indian hospitals ranges from INR 5,000 to INR 15,000 (approximately $70 to $210). It is advisable to check with specific hospitals for accurate pricing.

Risks of Not Getting a Colonoscopy

Choosing not to undergo a colonoscopy can have serious consequences, including:

1. Missed Early Detection: Colonoscopy is a crucial tool for detecting colorectal cancers and precancerous polyps early when they are highly treatable. Without screening, these conditions can progress undetected.

2. Increased Risk of Complications: Delayed diagnosis can lead to more advanced and aggressive cancers, which may require more extensive and invasive treatments.

3. Reduced Survival Rates: When colorectal cancer is diagnosed at an advanced stage, the chances of survival decrease significantly. Early detection through colonoscopy can greatly improve prognosis.

4. Limited Treatment Options: Late-stage colorectal cancer may limit treatment options and result in more aggressive treatments, such as chemotherapy or surgery.

5. Impact on Quality of Life: Colorectal cancer at advanced stages can lead to a decreased quality of life due to symptoms and side effects of treatments.

Benefits of Colonoscopy

The benefits of colonoscopy are numerous:

1. Early Detection and Prevention:

Colonoscopy allows for the early detection and removal of precancerous polyps, reducing the risk of developing colorectal cancer.

2. Diagnostic Precision:

It is highly effective in diagnosing gastrointestinal conditions, such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and diverticulosis.

3. Screening at Risk Groups:

It is particularly valuable for individuals with a family history of colorectal cancer or those at a higher risk due to other factors.

4. Minimally Invasive:

Colonoscopy is minimally invasive, meaning it involves a small incision or no incision at all, leading to shorter recovery times.

5. Peace of Mind:

Regular colonoscopies offer peace of mind, knowing that your colon health is being monitored, and any issues can be addressed promptly.


In conclusion, colonoscopy is a valuable medical procedure that serves both diagnostic and preventive purposes. It plays a pivotal role in the early detection of colorectal diseases, ultimately improving patient outcomes. If you are considering a colonoscopy, consult with your healthcare provider to discuss your individual risk factors and screening schedule. Early detection and proactive management of colorectal issues can significantly enhance your overall health and well-being.


Colonoscopy is typically not painful. Patients are sedated to minimize discomfort during the procedure.

The procedure itself usually takes about 30 minutes to an hour, but the entire process, including preparation and recovery, can take several hours.

The frequency of colonoscopies depends on your risk factors and previous findings. In general, individuals should have their first colonoscopy at age 45 and follow their doctor's recommendations for subsequent screenings.

While rare, risks can include bleeding, infection, and damage to the colon. Your doctor will discuss these risks with you before the procedure.

Before the procedure, you will need to follow a special diet and fast for a specified period. Your healthcare provider will provide specific instructions.

Yes, there are alternatives like sigmoidoscopy and fecal occult blood tests (FOBT), but colonoscopy remains the most thorough and reliable screening method.

Most patients can resume their regular activities the day after the procedure, although some may experience mild discomfort or bloating for a short period.

No, you should arrange for someone to drive you home as the sedation used during the procedure can impair your ability to drive.

Your doctor will provide specific dietary guidelines post-procedure. In most cases, you will start with a light diet and gradually reintroduce solid foods.

It's recommended to take the rest of the day off work to rest and recover after the procedure.

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