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Colonoscopy Screening In Singapore For Colorectal Cancer

Introduction

Did you know that colonoscopy in Singapore is the most performed day surgery procedure?

Colorectal cancer is common in Singapore and during the period of 2014 to 2018, there were at least a total of 11,000 cases reported for colorectal cancer according to the Singapore Cancer Registry.

Many cases also go undetected until it is too late to be prevented. Undergoing colonoscopy screening in Singapore is the key to fighting colorectal cancer, with early detection of colorectal polyps, the higher your chance of survival will be.

Read on to find out more about colonoscopy in Singapore, don’t wait until it’s too late.

What Is A Colonoscopy, And Why Is It Performed?

Colonoscopy

A colonoscopy is a key part of colorectal cancer (colonoscopy) screening in Singapore.

It is a procedure where a colonoscope, which is a 1.6m flexible tube with a video camera at the end, is inserted into your colon or rectum wall. It allows your doctor to examine the inside of your colon and its lining for signs of bowel-related conditions, such as colon polyps which can lead to colorectal cancer.

A colonoscopy in Singapore lasts for about 30 minutes to an hour each time, and is a painless procedure conducted under general anaesthesia. Doctors can also utilise the colonoscope to generate images of the colon and rectal wall and identify and remove colon polyps, making a colonoscopy a diagnostic and therapeutic procedure.

As colorectal cancer is the most common cancer in Singapore amongst men, a colonoscopy is a key part of regular colorectal cancer screening tests in Singapore, particularly for residents over the age of 50 (who are also high-risk individuals).

Contact us to find out more about colonoscopy screening in Singapore today.

What Is Colorectal Cancer?

Colorectal cancer is a serious malignant disease that affects the colon. Colorectal cancer begins from polyps – a type of growth that’s precancerous or potentially cancerous forming along the inside of the colon. 

They often show no symptoms in the early stages until the cancer has advanced to a more severe stage of metastasis, which will prove far more difficult for a patient’s full recovery. 

Unlike other cancers, colorectal cancer has a far higher rate of full recovery if detected and treated early, with up to 90% of early-detection cases making a full recovery. 

This highlights the importance of colonoscopy in colorectal cancer screening in Singapore to facilitate effective treatment.

Colonoscopy

Why Do Patients Hesitate To Go For A Colonoscopy In Singapore?

Most people know about colonoscopies in Singapore. However, the two main reasons for avoiding a colonoscopy are fear and misinformation. Many patients either have bad experiences or have heard of bad experiences from their friends or relatives about colonoscopy.

They are told to go on a restrictive diet several days before and to consume only liquids the day before the colonoscopy. They are made to drink 4 litres of bowel preparation the night before the colonoscopy and spend the entire night purging in the toilet.

They come to the hospital early in the morning (dehydrated and sleepy) and they are sedated for a colonoscopy. When the procedure is done, they wake up sleepy and drowsy and are sent home.

The results of the colonoscopy are only known a few weeks after they see the doctor in the clinic. It is no wonder why patients avoid such an essential investigation.

Years later, when they are due for another colonoscopy, most patients will avoid doing it. This is not ideal as it is not in your best interest to delay such an essential investigation.

However, a good specialist will advise that good bowel preparation is important. The state of your stool sample should be watery and free from any solid particles. Contact us to find out more about procedures and preparation for colonoscopy screening in Singapore.

Cost Of Colonoscopy In Singapore

The price of a colonoscopy in Singapore may be another reason for one’s hesitancy. However, the cost of this procedure can vary depending on several factors, including the healthcare facility, the specific doctor or specialist performing the procedure, and whether you have insurance coverage.

Cost Of Screening And Diagnostic Colonoscopy In Singapore

  • Screening Colonoscopy Costs In Singapore: Routine screening for colonoscopies can be relatively affordable, especially if you are eligible for government subsidies. The cost typically ranges from $400 to $800 or even lower for Singaporean citizens and permanent residents after subsidies.
  • Diagnostic Colonoscopy Costs in Singapore: The price of a colonoscopy in Singapore for diagnostic purposes is the same as a routine screening colonoscopy. The cost can vary widely depending on the complexity of the procedure, the need for biopsies, and the healthcare facility. It may range from $800 to $2,500 or more.Insurance coverage for diagnostic colonoscopies can vary depending on the nature of the symptoms and the specific insurance policy. Some insurance plans may cover diagnostic procedures, while others may require a deductible or co-payment.

Cost Of Colonoscopy In Public And Private Hospitals In Singapore

In Singapore, the cost of a colonoscopy can vary significantly depending on whether the procedure is performed in a public or private hospital. These differences can arise from the equipment, the number of beds, number of specialists, and more.

Public Hospitals

Generally, the cost of colonoscopy in Singapore public hospitals is cheaper. That’s because medical services are subsidised for Singaporean citizens and permanent residents, making them more affordable compared to private hospitals. However, the specific cost can depend on your subsidy eligibility and the hospital’s pricing structure.

In public hospitals, the price of a colonoscopy may start at around $400 to $800 for Singaporean citizens and permanent residents after government subsidies. The actual cost can vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the procedure and whether additional services or tests are required.

Private Hospitals

On the other hand, private hospitals in Singapore typically charge higher fees for medical procedures, including colonoscopy screenings. Private hospitals’ costs can range from $1,000 to $2,500 or more, depending on the facility, the doctor’s fees, and any additional services or sedation required. However, this also means shorter wait times, patient to healthcare provider ratios are smaller, more specialised services, and often more comfortable amenities.

Advanced Colorectal and General Surgery is a reputable colonoscopy clinic in Singapore. Here, the cost of a colonoscopy screening is broken down into consultations and procedures. Consultations typically start from $150, while the screening itself ranges from $1100 to $1600. Depending on your medical insurance coverage, the cost might differ as well.

Why You Should Do A Colonoscopy Screening In Singapore With Dr QM Leong

What Is The Same Day Colonoscopy In Singapore

Same Day Colonoscopy in Singapore means undergoing the colonoscopy on the same day as the consult. In other words, you are seen by Dr QM Leong in the morning for consultation, given bowel preparation after the consultation and admitted to the day surgery ward.

When the bowel preparation has taken effect, and the bowel is cleared, the colonoscopy will begin in the afternoon in the endoscopy centre. As the colonoscopy usually takes less than one hour, you will be back in the day surgery ward later in the afternoon.

Dr QM Leong will personally review you in the evening after the sedation wears off and explain the colonoscopy findings before you are discharged. Hence, you will undergo the consultation, bowel preparation, colonoscopy screening and results of the procedure all on the same day.

Frequently Asked Questions About Colonoscopy In Singapore

Colonoscopy is one of the gold standard screening tests for colorectal cancer. It should be repeated once every 5 or 10 years. Most people will require 2 to 3 colonoscopy screenings in Singapore throughout their lifetime.
Colonoscopy in Singapore is performed under general anaesthesia or sedation. Hence you will be asleep and not experience any pain during the procedure. After the procedure, some patients experience minor bloatedness which resolves after passing flatus.

There are usually not much or any symptoms to warn patients of early-stage colon cancer, however, some of the symptoms that are commonly found in the later stages of colorectal (colon) cancer are:

  • Blood Found In Stools
  • Change In Bowel Habits And Movements
  • Weight loss
  • Discomfort Within Abdominal Region
  • Fatigue or Weakness

Preparation for a colonoscopy screening typically includes dietary restrictions and medication adjustments. You will most likely need to adhere to a clear liquid diet for a day or two before the procedure. On the day before the colonoscopy, you must drink a prescribed laxative solution to empty out your colon. It is essential to follow the instructions carefully to ensure a successful and effective procedure.

At our colorectal clinic, these are not necessary. There are no dietary restrictions, but there are bowel preparations. Contact us to learn how you can better prepare for a same-day colonoscopy.

With our same-day colonoscopy screening, we don’t have dietary restrictions. Our specialist only requires 2 litres of bowel preparation.
In most cases, you can continue taking essential medications, but certain medications may need to be adjusted or temporarily stopped, especially if they can affect the procedure or increase the risk of bleeding. Rest assured that our colorectal specialist will provide specific guidance on your medication regimen.
A colonoscopy procedure usually takes approximately 30 minutes to an hour to complete. However, the exact duration can vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the examination and whether any interventions like polyp removal or biopsies are required.
Yes, sedation or anesthesia is commonly used during a colonoscopy procedure to ensure patient comfort and relaxation. We will discuss the sedation options before the procedure and ensure your comfort and safety during the colonoscopy.