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What does a colonoscopy do?

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Colonoscopy (koh-luh-NAH-skuh-pee) lets the physician look inside your entire large intestine, from the lowest part, the rectum, all the way up through the colon to the lower end of the small intestine. The procedure is used to diagnose the causes of unexplained blood in the stool or changes in bowel habits. It is also used to look for early signs of cancer in the colon and rectum. A colonoscopy enables the physician to see inflamed tissue, abnormal growths, ulcers, bleeding, and muscle spasms in the colon.

From: Colonoscopy WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse of The National Institutes of Health. "Colonoscopy." NIH Publication No. 98-4331. July 7, 1998.

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on October 22, 2018

SOURCES: The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse of The National Institutes of Health. "Colonoscopy." NIH Publication No. 98-4331. July 7, 1998.

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on October 22, 2018

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What happens when doctors find something unusual during a colonoscopy?

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