A colonoscopy allows a physician to examine the lining
of the colon (large bowel) for abnormalities. A flexible tube is inserted
through the rectum and slowly advanced through the colon as the physician checks
for polyps and other abnormal structures. Generally, polyps are removed and sent
for biopsy. Tissue samples of the colon lining may also be collected and sent
for laboratory analysis.
||The lining of the large intestine can be examined in
a colonoscopy |
Patients are usually required to follow a cleansing
routine of the colon before the procedure to permit an accurate and complete
viewing of the intestinal tract. A colonoscopy rarely causes pain, but patients
may experience pressure, bloating or occassional cramping during and
following the procedure.
Some minor bleeding may occur after a polypectomy, and
the physician may recommend some restrictions on activities or diet.
The physician will explain the results of the colonoscopy to you following
the procedure. Results of tissue analysis may take a few days.
If you have any questions about a colonoscopy, you should discuss your
concerns with your doctor.