|Colonoscopy lets the physician look inside your entire large intestine, from the lowest part, the rectum, all the way up through the colon to the lower end of the small intestine. The procedure is used to look for early signs of cancer in the colon and rectum. It is also used to diagnose the causes of unexplained changes in bowel habits. Colonoscopy enables the physician to see inflamed tissue, abnormal growths, ulcers, and bleeding|
For the procedure, you will lie on your left side on the examining table. You will be given pain medication and a mild sedative to keep you comfortable and to help you relax during the exam. Dr. Tabib then inserts a flexible, lighted tube into your rectum and slowly guide it into your colon. The tube is called a colonoscope. The scope transmits an image of the inside of the colon, so the physician can carefully examine the lining of the colon. The scope bends, so the he can move it around the curves of your colon. The scope also blows air into your colon, which inflates the colon and helps him see better.
If anything abnormal is seen in your colon, like a polyp or inflamed tissue, Dr. Tabib can remove all or part of it using tiny instruments passed through the scope. That tissue (biopsy) is then sent to a lab for testing. If there is bleeding in the colon, the doctor can pass a laser, heater probe, or electrical probe, or can inject special medicines through the scope and use it to stop the bleeding.
Bleeding and puncture of the colon are possible complications of colonoscopy. However, such complications are rare and uncommon.
Colonoscopy usually takes between 15 to 30 minutes. The sedative and pain medicine generally keep you from feeling any discomfort during the exam. You will need to remain at the colonoscopy facility for a short period of time until the sedative wears off.