Colonoscopy is a procedure that uses a long, flexible, narrow tube with a light and tiny camera on one end, called a colonoscope or scope, to look inside the rectum and entire colon. Colonoscopy can show irritated and swollen tissue, ulcers, and polyps.
A colonoscopy is performed to help determine the cause of:
Screening & Prevention
Colonoscopy is the most common method of screening for colon cancer. The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends routine screenings for people 45 and over. Most colon cancers begin as polyps. Screening can detect polyps so they can be removed before they become cancerous. Regular screening and removal of any polyps found can reduce your risk of colorectal cancers by as much as 90%.
The course you take to prepare for your colonoscopy will depend on your gastroenterologist, but all patients should prepare to:
- Arrange for a ride home, as driving is not allowed for 24 hours following the test.
- Cleanse the bowel completely beforehand.
Your Northeast Digestive Health Center provider will provide written prep instructions prior to your procedure. Following all instructions is very important to ensure accurate results. See all colonoscopy prep instructions.