Colonoscopy is an exam of the inner lining of the rectum and colon, using a colonoscope, which is a long, flexible tube with a camera on the end. It is a simple test used to detect the presence of a number of diseases like colon cancer and other conditions of the intestines, as well as to treat and remove polyps. During the test tissue samples are often collected, biopsied and any abnormal growths can be removed.
If bowel preparation is done incorrectly, the examination may have to be postponed or repeated. It is important to tell the doctor if you are taking any form of medication. When you arrive you will be asked to change into a gown and a mild sedative is usually given. During the exam the patient will lie on his side.
The procedure is not known to be painful and it usually takes between 20 minutes to an hour. Colonoscopies save lives. Through colonoscopies, cancer can be detected in early stages, before it spreads and while is very treatable.