Screening and Diagnostic Colonoscopy

A colonoscopy is an exam used to detect changes or abnormalities in the large intestine (colon) and rectum. Before the colonoscopy, patients receive a sedative and pain medication to ensure they are comfortable. During the procedure, a long, flexible tube with a tiny video camera at the tip is inserted into the rectum. This allows the doctor to view the inside of the entire colon and, if needed, take a small sample of tissue (biopsy) through the tube to examine later. The colonoscopy generally lasts 30 minutes to an hour.

Learn how to prepare for a colonoscopy.