A colonoscopy is a procedure performed by a doctor called a gastroenterologist, who uses a colonoscope to look inside the colon and check for diseases like cancer or colitis.
A colonoscopy is the main way to check for diseases of the colon, such as colitis or cancer, and to remove colon polyps.
A colonoscopy is also a safe and helpful way to look at health issues in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, such as:
During a colonoscopy, tools can be passed through the colonoscope to painlessly remove a suspicious-looking growth or to biopsy (take a small tissue sample).
There are important steps you must take to safely get ready for your colonoscopy. These are general instructions. Be sure to follow any instructions given to you by your doctor.
Your doctor or nurse will review the steps with you and make sure that you know how to get ready and what you can expect during and after the test. If you have any questions, be sure to bring them up with the doctor or nurse.
If you do not remember the time of your appointment, call your health care provider’s office.
A colonoscopy can be done as an outpatient procedure in your health care provider’s office, outpatient surgical center or hospital. Be sure you know exactly where you need to go the day of your procedure, as it may not be the same as your provider’s office.
Be sure to ask your doctor or nurse if there is anything you do not understand.
Your doctor will tell you more specifically what you can expect during the test. Some things may include:
Your doctor will tell you more specifically what you can expect after the test. Some things may include:
Although colonoscopy is a safe test, complications can happen sometimes. Problems during a colonoscopy are rare.
Some examples may be: