What is a Colonoscopy?

Colon-what-happens-300x250Colonoscope is a flexible tube that is about a half inch in diameter an about four to five feet long. Light is carried down a fiber-optic bundle in the colonoscope, and an image comes back to a television monitor.

For a colonoscopy, the patient is first given a bowel prep the night before the procedure to remove all the content of the colon. During the procedure, the patient is sedated and the colonoscope is gently passed through the rectum and the colon to the cecum, which is in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen. The entire colon lining can be viewed and any abnormality may be identified.

The physician may take a biopsy, remove a polyp, or take a photograph during the procedure through the colonoscope. Specimens obtained during the colonoscopy may be sent to the laboratory for special studies. The physician will advise the patient of the results of the procedure.

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