A colonoscopy is an examination used to detect changes or abnormalities in the large intestine (colon) and rectum. During a colonoscopy, a long, flexible tube (colonoscope) is inserted into the rectum. A tiny video camera at the tip of the tube allows the doctor to view the inside of the entire colon. It is done under anaesthesia. If necessary, polyps or other types of abnormal tissue can be removed through the scope during a colonoscopy. Tissue samples (biopsies) can be taken during a colonoscopy as well.
Why it's done
Investigate intestinal signs and symptoms. A colonoscopy can help explore
- Possible causes of abdominal pain
- Rectal bleeding
- Chronic constipation
- Chronic diarrhea
- Other intestinal problems
- Screen for colon cancer. If colon cancer suspected. Look for more polyps. If you have had polyps before, your doctor may recommend a follow-up colonoscopy to look for and remove any additional polyps. This is done to reduce your risk of colon cancer.