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About Dr. Deetlefs and his Practice

GiDoc Capetown
is a practice founded to provide medical solutions in the area of gastroenterology.

Over the years, Dr Eduan Deetlefs has earned the reputation of a trusted health expert providing consultative, diagnostic, and therapeutic endoscopic and related services to patients in Cape Town and beyond.

Dr Eduan has a wealth of up-to-date knowledge in the management of inflammatory bowel disease and in addition he has a trial centre, Spoke Research Inc, that specialises in biological trials for inflammatory bowel disease.

Services include consultations for gastrointestinal and liver related diseases with a specific interest in inflammatory bowel disease and iron deficiency anaemia caused by obscure gastrointestinal bleeding.

He furthermore performs numerous more specialised procedures such as capsule endoscopy, double-balloon enteroscopy, ERCP and various interventional procedures including polypectomies for large polyps, haemostasis of bleeding lesions, ablation of Barrett’s oesophagus and placement of feeding tubes (PEG).

Let’s dig deeper into one of his most specialised procedures:  The Colonoscopy.

Colonoscopy Explained

Dr Eduan sees the whole spectrum of gastrointestinal and liver-related diseases with a special interest in inflammatory bowel disease and anaemia caused by obscure intestinal bleeding.

He performs numerous procedures including diagnostic and therapeutic gastroscopies and colonoscopies.

Millions of people have a colonoscopy every year. Here’s how it works and what to expect.

A colonoscopy is an examination of the rectum and colon to look for polyps, bleeding, ulcers and other abnormal areas that can be removed before they become cancerous. 

The colonoscope used for a colonoscopy has a camera on the end that transmits what you see inside your colon onto a large screen in the exam room. Since a colonoscopy allows doctors to directly see any abnormalities within the digestive tract, specialized tests that require biopsies aren’t needed as often. 

This means you’ll have fewer test procedures so the procedure itself is usually shorter than other diagnostic tests for similar conditions.

Also, because polyps grow over time, it’s easier to find them during examinations than it would be using non-invasive methods like virtual colonoscopies or CT scans since they’re usually too small to detect on these technologies. 

Most patients are sedated during this test, so there isn’t much discomfort involved.

The procedure typically takes about 30 to 60 minutes.


Reasons Why You Might Need a Colonoscopy

When you need to boost your colon health, you’ll have many options in terms of ways to do so. One of the best known procedures is a colonoscopy. But why should you get one?

To begin with, it allows for early detection of cancerous growths that may otherwise go undetected without intervention and be treated accordingly.

It also allows patients who suffer from chronic constipation to determine whether their issue might be a result of intestinal polyps that can then be surgically removed from the bowel without causing further problems later on.

Finally, it is also capable of detecting Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis and may allow proper measures to be followed in an attempt to prevent further complications before they begin to appear and might otherwise require painful surgery or extreme measures later on if left untreated early on in life.

The most common reasons for colonoscopy are to evaluate the following:

  • As a screening exam for colon cancer
  • Rectal bleeding
  • A change in bowel habits, like persistent diarrhea
  • Iron deficiency anemia (a decrease in blood count due to loss of iron)
  • A family history of colon cancer
  • As a follow-up test in people with colon polyps or colon cancer
  • Chronic, unexplained abdominal or rectal pain
  • An abnormal X-ray exam, like a barium enema or CT scan 



The Importance of Getting a Colonoscopy

As the cliché goes, “prevention is better than cure”.

Colonoscopy might seem like a scary medical procedure, but it’s one that prevents you from being diagnosed with colon or colorectal cancer too late and suffering because of it.

Fear about your health should never be an excuse not to get regular check-ups. Prevention is important to keep yourself healthy and prevent unnecessary costs in the future.

After all, at the end of the day you’ll only get out what you put in. You need to take some action in order to benefit from this. 

How to Get Ready for a Colonoscopy

Having an adequate preparation for a colonoscopy is essential for getting the best results, while increasing the least amount of discomfort.

You will have to make sure that your bowels are empty prior to your procedure by having a good bowel movement in the morning, and some people opt for going through an enema procedure before scheduling their colonoscopy.

If you’re diabetic or on a special diet, then you need to inform your gastro-intestinal specialist about what medications and supplements you’re on.

This could be important for determining which type of laxatives are safe to use prior to a scheduled procedure – usually the night before, rather than early morning. 


What To Expect After a Colonoscopy

After a Colonoscopy, you may experience some noticeable discomfort in the first few days, following which your bowel motions will re-establish their normal pattern. 

There are many myths and misconceptions that surround having a colonoscopy. Most people are not aware of some of the common side effects after a colonoscopy.

On the patient side of things, there are a few potential side effects that could occur following a colonoscopy that are unpleasant to experience.

The most common side effect after a colonoscopy is vomiting. This happens because food or fluid comes into contact with the intestines when the colon is being cleansed.

As it leaves the body, the food or fluid passes through the body and exits via the bowel. 

If a person experiences abdominal pain, cramping, or fever, it could be a sign of a side effect of this procedure.

Other potential side effects of the colonoscopy include: 

  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Yawning
  • Low blood pressure
  • Fever

If any side effects do not go away, it is a good idea to see a doctor to rule out other possible causes. While most people go home from the colonoscopy fine, a small percentage of people have side effects. 

Colonoscopy What to Expect by Dr. Deetlefs CPT

Get in Touch with GI Expert Dr. Deetlefs

Dr Deetlefs has admitting rights and performs endoscopies at both Mediclinic Milnerton and Life Vincent Pallotti Hospitals.

To learn more about the complexity of your gut and the opportunity for you to contribute to the scientific pursuit of gastrointestinal knowledge, visit our Cape Town office or visit our website.

We are gastroenterologist experts using patient-focused GI treatment and procedures in Cape Town.

If you haven’t been scheduled for a colonoscopy and want to get one, make an appointment now. 


The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.

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© Dr. Eduan Deetlefs, Registered Gastroenterologist, GI Doc Cape Town

Our website information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a doctor about your specific condition. Only a trained physician can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.