What is colonoscopy?

A colonoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera at the end of it that is passed into the anus to look for problems or perform procedures in the rectum or colon. The procedure by which a colonoscope is inserted into the body is known as a colonoscopy.

What happens during the procedure?

Sedative and pain medication is administered, and then the colonoscope is inserted into the anus. Air can be pumpedinto the colon to ease its movement. The colonoscope is used to look for problems, or it can be equipped with tools to perform surgical procedure within the colon.

Is any special preparation needed?

You’ll need to avoid food and drink for a set period of time before the procedure. You also may need to perform an enema in order to completely rid the colon of its contents before the procedure.

What are the risk factors?

Bleeding, infection, tearing of the colon or equipment failure are possible complications of colonoscopy.

Reviewed by: Carrie Firestone Baum, MD

This page was last updated on: June 21, 2019 12:42 AM

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