What is a colonoscopy?

Looking inside your large intestine

Large intestineA colonoscopy is a test where we look inside the inner lining of your large intestine. Your large intestine is mostly made up of two sections. It is made up of your colon and your rectum. A colonoscopy is used to help work out the best way to treat you.

What happens during a colonoscopy?

During a colonoscopy your doctors will use a thin, flexible tube to look at your colon. This tube is called a colonoscope. During a colonoscopy your doctor may also take a sample of your tissue to work out what is affecting you. This is called taking a biopsy. If there are any abnormal bits these may need to be removed from your body. If this is relevant to you, we will explain more about this when you come to see us.

What is a colonoscopy?

What is a colonoscope?

The thin, flexible tube that your doctor will use to look at your colon or rectum is called a colonoscope.

Why can’t I just have an x-ray or some other procedure?

A colonoscopy is a test that delivers very precise findings. For example, a colonoscopy will deliver more precise results than an x-ray. This is one of the reasons why a colonoscopy might be used rather than an x-ray.

When will I need to have a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a useful way to both investigate what’s happening and to also treat what might be wrong. A colonoscopy may be suggested if we need to investigate what’s happening. For example, a colonoscopy might help if you may have a bowel disease or if you are at risk of developing a problem. For example, it might be needed if your family has a history of bowel cancer or polyps. A colonoscopy might also help if you have pain in your stomach (abdominal pain) or if you have experienced some sort of change in your bowel habit or if you have rectal bleeding.

Our staff will discuss why you might benefit from a colonoscopy. They will also help prepare you for this test and they will support you through the procedure.

What happens after the procedure depends on the results of the test. For some patients it’s most helpful to discuss the results of the test with their GP while for others you will benefit from speaking again to your gastroenterologist. We will make sure that you know what the next step is for you.

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Some patients find it useful to learn more about what a colonoscopy involves before they come in for their test. You can find our more information about colonosocopies in the video below.