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What happens during a colonoscopy?

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You’ll lie on your side on an exam table, and you'll get sedatives to put you to sleep.

The doctor will put a tube-like instrument called a colonoscope into your rectum. It’s long but only about a half-inch across. It has a tube that pumps in air to inflate your colon and a light and video camera on the tip so the doctor can see the lining of your colon and look for problems.

Your doctor can use the tool to take tiny samples (biopsies) of your colon for testing and also take out abnormal growths called polyps.

From: Colonoscopy: What to Know WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: 

American Cancer Society.

Mayo Clinic, “Colonoscopy.”

Harvard Health Publications, “Preparing for a colonoscopy.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on August 05, 2018

SOURCES: 

American Cancer Society.

Mayo Clinic, “Colonoscopy.”

Harvard Health Publications, “Preparing for a colonoscopy.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on August 05, 2018

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How long does a colonoscopy take?

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