Colonoscopy is a procedure that lets your doctor look inside your entire large intestine. It uses an instrument called a colonoscope, or scope for short. Scopes have a tiny camera attached to a long, thin tube. The procedure lets your doctor see things such as inflamed tissue, abnormal growths, and ulcers.
Your doctor may recommend a colonoscopy for a number of reasons:
- To look for early signs of cancer in the colon and rectum
- To look for causes of unexplained changes in bowel habits
- To evaluate symptoms like abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, and weight loss
Your doctor can also remove polyps from your colon during a colonoscopy.
Provided by: NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases