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Definition - What does Colonoscopy mean?

A colonoscopy is a procedure used to examine the interior of the large intestine or colon. A colonoscopy is performed using a colonoscope. This small camera attached to a flexible tube is inserted into the rectum and fed through the large intestines to allow a physician to view the digestive tissue's inner lining. A colonoscopy exam is often used to detect abnormalities such as tumors, polyps, or ulcers in the large intestines.

SureHire explains Colonoscopy

Colonoscopies may be used for screening or diagnostic purposes. For patients over the age of 55, a colonoscopy may be used as a screening tool to check for signs of colon cancer. Screening may be ordered for a younger patient if the patient's medical history indicates risk factors for the development of colon cancer. While advisory guides exist, the determination of when and how often screening colonoscopies should take place will be determined by a person's physician.

Colonoscopies may also be used to investigate abnormal bleeding, malabsorption, abdominal pain, or other conditions. To prepare for a colonoscopy, a patient will be asked to fast for at least a day and perform a bowel cleanse prior to the procedure. During the exam, your doctor may take tissues samples for biopsy.

Usually, a patient will be able to go home shortly after the colonoscopy.

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