What is a colonoscopy procedure?

Colonoscopy is the visual examination of the inner surface of the intestinal tract via means of an endoscope. A long flexible tube (colonoscope), about the thickness of a finger, is inserted into the rectum and advanced along the length of the large bowel (colon). The scope contains a video camera that produces a magnified image of the lining of the large bowel to a TV screen.

Colonoscopy is commonly used for removal of colonic polyps, to identify abnormalities (including cancers), to coagulate bleeding sites, to obtain biopsies, and for other diagnostic purposes.

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