Colonoscopy enables the physician to look inside the entire colon. On the day before the procedure, you will drink a solution to cleanse your colon.
For the procedure, you will be sedated and then the physician will advance a thin, flexible, lighted tube called a colonoscope through your entire colon. The colonoscope transmits an image of the inside of the colon so that the physician can carefully examine the colonic lining.
The procedure is used in the evaluation of rectal bleeding, diarrhea, constipation, or lower abdominal pain.
In addition, colonoscopy is recommended for all people over 50 years of age to detect colonic polyps or early colon cancers. During the procedure polyps can be removed, biopsies can be obtained, and sites of bleeding can be cauterized.
A colonoscopy is also known as a lower endoscopy.
Please see “What are the potential complications of upper endoscopy or colonoscopy?” under the FAQ section of the website.