What is a Colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a procedure which allows your doctor to directly visualize the inside walls of your colon. This is a well tolerated procedure and rarely causes much pain. You may feel pressure, bloating or cramping during and after the procedure. You will be sedated by a trained professional to help decrease the amount of discomfort you will feel and to help you relax.

The colonoscope is a flexible tube with a viewing scope at the end. This is inserted through the rectum and advanced into the colon. At times, a biopsy may be done through the colonoscope. A tiny piece of tissue is painlessly removed and sent to the lab for identification. If any small growths, called polys, are seen, they may be removed through the colonoscope.

The procedure itself usually takes 15 to 60 minutes, although you should plan on two to three hours for waiting, preparation and recovery. You will be given preparation instructions when your procedure is scheduled.