What Is a Colonoscopy and Who Needs It?
The colon is a large digestive tube that helps process and store human waste before it is flushed out of the body. When the colon becomes diseased, infected, or injured, healthcare providers use a diagnostic procedure known as a colonoscopy, to help them ascertain the exact nature of the problem. A colonoscopy is a minimally invasive endoscopic examination of the large colon and the small bowel with a fiber optic camera known as a colonoscope that is inserted through the anus. A colonoscopy is advisable for patients with polyps, colon cancer, and colon infections. The results are crucial for determining the optimal healthcare procedure to be followed thereafter.
The Colonoscopy Procedure
A colonoscopy is performed under anesthesia, after the intestines and colon have been cleaned. This healthcare procedure involves the insertion of a flexible telescope, known as an endoscope through the anus into the colon. The tip of the endoscope is movable and has provisions for air, suction, and light as well as an ability to remove polyps and other complications. The surgeon can view the interior of the colon with lenses attached to the outer end of the endoscope. Snippets of tissue (biopsies) can also be removed for examination and suspicious lesions in the colon may be cauterized or treated with lasers.