What is colonoscopy?

Colonoscopy is the name for the procedure performed to evaluate the large intestine (colon). This procedure may be done at the patient's bedside, in the gastrointestinal (GI) laboratory, or in the operating room. The patient receives sedation and pain medication prior to the procedure and rarely recalls the procedure itself. The doctor inserts the colonoscope through the anus and rectum into the colon. With use of the colonoscope, the doctor can assess a colon blockage, infection or injury, including injury to the colon from a lack of blood flow (ischemia) or other diseases. Frequently, small pieces of tissue from the colon are obtained (biopsy) and sent to the laboratory to help diagnose the patient's condition.

Are there any potential complications associated with colonoscopy?

Complications of colonoscopy include cramping, feeling bloated, bleeding, or a small hole made in the colon occasionally requiring surgery to repair (colon perforation). Colon perforation is uncommon.


Colonoscope eyepiece