What is a Colonoscopy? March 29, 2023 A colonoscopy is a medical procedure used to examine the inside of the colon or large intestine. It involves the insertion of a flexible, narrow tube called a colonoscope through the rectum and into the colon. The colonoscope has a light and a camera at the end, which allows the doctor to see the inside of the colon and identify any abnormalities such as polyps or tumors. During the procedure, the doctor may also take tissue samples or remove any abnormal growths for further examination. Colonoscopies are typically performed as a screening test for colorectal cancer, as well as a diagnostic tool for other conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease. To prepare for a colonoscopy, patients are instructed to follow a special diet and drink a laxative solution to clean out their colon. This is necessary to ensure that the doctor has a clear view of the colon during the procedure. Patients are usually given sedatives or anesthesia to help them relax and prevent discomfort during the procedure. The actual colonoscopy typically takes between 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the complexity of the case. After the procedure, patients may experience some mild discomfort or bloating, but they can usually resume their normal activities within a day or two. It is important to follow any post-procedure instructions provided by the doctor, such as avoiding certain foods or activities for a short period of time.