A colonoscopy is a medical procedure that involves using a long, flexible tube or scope to look for abnormalities, polyps, and growths in the rectum and colon (large intestine).The large intestine helps in the digestion and absorption of food and eliminating waste. The colon empties into the rectum, and the waste leaves the body through the anus. A colonoscopy is commonly used to evaluate gastrointestinal symptoms, such as bleeding, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, chronic diarrhea and other intestinal problems.
Colonoscopy can help doctors diagnose the reasons for:
- Unexplained changes in bowel habits
- Abdominal pain
- Bleeding from the anus
- Unexplained weight loss
Colonoscopy is performed to detect inflamed tissue, ulcers, and any abnormal growth. This procedure helps your doctor to detect early signs of colorectal cancer. Your doctor can also take samples of abnormal tissues during colonoscopy for biopsy. Your doctor can also remove polyps and take biopsies using tiny tools passed through the scope.
Colonoscopy can be used to:
- Remove polyps (polypectomy)
- Dilate narrowed segments (stricture dilation) of large intestine and place metallic stents across them (colonic stenting)
- Banding for haemorrhoids (piles banding)