Your physician has recommended that you have a colonoscopy. This test is a visual examination of the lining of the large intestine. During the test, a colonoscope, which is a long, flexible instrument that has a light and a camera at the tip, will be passed through the rectum and around the colon. Your doctor will view the colonoscopy on a television screen and look for any abnormalities that may be present.

Colonoscopy usually is performed to evaluate and treat colon cancer, polyps, gastrointestinal bleeding, and diarrhea. If necessary, biopsies (tiny tissue samples) may be taken painlessly during the examination and sent for laboratory analysis. Polyps (abnormal growths of tissue) may also be removed and bleeding areas may be identified and treated.