1 July 2009
Colonoscopy evaluates the appearance of the inner lining of the colon using a colonoscope. The colonoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a small video camera attached.
The colonoscope can be used to look at the whole colon and the lower part of the small intestine and the procedure usually takes 30 to 60 minutes to complete. A colonoscopy may be advised if there are symptoms such as bleeding from the anus, pains in the lower abdomen, persistent diarrhoea, or other symptoms thought to be coming
from the colon.
Various other conditions may also be detected. The colonoscopy can also see if there are any polyps in your bowel. Polyps are growths of cells which aren’t cancer, but can sometimes change into cancer over a number of years. Biopsies may be done on certain areas of the inside lining of the colon, dependent on why the test was done.
The biopsy samples are sent to the lab for testing, and for evaluation under the microscope. Also, it is possible to remove polyps which may be found by an instrument attached to a colonoscope.