Colonoscopy

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A colonoscopy examines the large intestine for inflammation, bleeding, ulcers or abnormal growths, such as polyps or cancer. The doctor uses a colonoscope: a small, lighted camera inside a soft, flexible tube. The procedure usually lasts from 30 minutes to an hour.  

The procedure can:

  • Detect and treat colon cancer or colon polyps
  • Take tissue samples for testing
  • Stop intestinal bleeding
  • Monitor inflammatory bowel disease treatment

The Colonoscopy Procedure

You will lie on your left side, knees drawn up toward your chest. The doctor will insert the colonoscope through your rectum, inject air, then gently pass the scope through your colon.

The doctor will then:

  • Examine the lining of the colon 
  • Remove tissue samples or polyps, if necessary
colonoscope diagram
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Your Experience

During the procedure, you may feel:

  • Discomfort
  • Cramping
  • Muscle spasms
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • The urge to move your bowels

Tell the doctor if you feel any severe pain.

 

Content was created using EBSCO's Health Library. Edits to original content made by Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

Colonoscopy: Patient Education Resources

Instrucciones de Preparación para la Colonoscopia GoLYTELY Día 2

Instructions from Digestive health about how to prepare for a colonoscopy using Golytely for 2 days including a checklist with clear liquid and low fiber diet information in Spanish

Golytely 2 day Colonoscopy Bowel Prep Instructions

Instructions from Digestive health about how to prepare for a colonoscopy using Golytely for 2 days including a checklist with clear liquid and low fiber diet information.

Suprep Colonoscopy Bowel Prep Instructions

Instructions from Digestive Health about how to prepare for a colonoscopy using suprep, including a checklist and low fiber and clear liquid diets

GOLYTELY® (polvo) Instrucciones para preparar el intestino para la colonoscopia

Instructions from Digestive health about how to prepare for a colonoscopy using Golytely including a checklist

Colonoscopy Prep Instructions for Patients with Diabetes

Information for patients with diabetes about how to adapt colonoscopy preparation instructions to account for blood sugar changes.

Instrucciones para el Paciente con Diabetes que se Somete a la Colonoscopia

Information for patients with diabetes about how to adapt colonoscopy preparation instructions to account for blood sugar changes in Spanish

Golytely 1 day Colonoscopy Bowel Prep Instructions

Standard Instructions from Digestive health about how to prepare for a colonoscopy using Golytely including a checklist for the standard 1 day bowel prep with clear liquid and low fiber diet information.

SUPREP® (Liquido) INSTRUCCIONES PARA PREPARAR EL INTESTINO PARA LA COLONOSCOPIA

Instructions from Digestive Health about how to prepare for a colonoscopy using Suprep, including a checklist in Spanish