A colonoscopy is conducted by inserting a flexible tube the size of a finger into the anus and moving it forward slowly until it reaches the rectum and colon.
According to the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, this procedure allows doctors to look inside your large intestine to identify any inflamed tissue, abnormal growths or ulcers. They use tools called endoscopes that have a tiny camera attached to the tip of a long, thin tube.
Specialists recommend colonoscopies:
- To look for early signs of cancer in the colon and rectum. It can be part of routine testing, which usually begin at age 50.
- To evaluate the causes of unexpected changes in bowel habits.
- To assess symptoms such as stomach pain, rectal bleeding and weight loss.
- To remove colon polyps.
Patients will receive instructions to follow at home to clean out the intestine before the procedure so that the doctor can see the organ clearly. During the process, patients are given medications to stay relaxed.
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