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Colonoscopy is a common procedure in Gastroenterology performed by a GI Doctor or Gastroenterologist that enables the direct examination of the lining of the colon or large intestine. A colonoscope is a long flexible camera which has its own lens, light source, as well as suction and manipulation channels use for the insertion of tools.
During the procedure the colonoscopy is advanced into the rectum through the anal canal and then passed through the colon until it reaches the junction of the cecum and ileum, which is marked by the ileocecal valve and appendix. Lesions such as benign polyps, cancer, diverticulosis, and inflammation can be found during a colonoscopy. Biopsies are obtained and polyps are removed during the procedure.
Colonoscopy is preformed for a variety of reasons. It is the main screening tool used to detect colon cancer. Colonoscopy is also performed for diagnosing causes of diarrhea, gastrointestinal bleeding, abdominal pain, changes in bowel habit, and surveillance for colon polyps or cancer in high risk individuals.
For colonoscopy preparation instructions, click here for more information.