Colonoscopy is a procedure in which your doctor examines the lining of your large intestine, or colon. The test is often recommended to screen for colorectal cancer. It is also used to evaluate symptoms such as rectal bleeding or diarrhea. Preparation for the procedure involves following certain dietary restrictions and taking a laxative to cleanse the bowel. Your GI will prescribe the preparation that is appropriate for you, and we ask that you follow directions to the best of your ability.
After the patient is sedated, a long, thin, flexible tube with its own camera and light source is advanced throughout the entire colon. During the procedure, biopsies (small tissue samples) can be taken and often small growths, or polyps, can be removed. Removing precancerous polyps during routine colonoscopy has been shown to prevent the onset of colorectal cancer. The procedure is safe with rare complications. More information will be provided and questions answered during your pre-procedure visit with the doctor.