A colonoscopy (say "koh-luh-NAW-skuh-pee") is a test that lets a doctor look inside your child's colon. The doctor uses a thin, lighted tube called a colonoscope to look for small growths called polyps. The doctor can also look for other causes of your child's symptoms such as belly pain and blood in the stool.
During the test, the doctor can take out polyps and samples of tissue. These can then be checked for problems. This is called a biopsy.
Your child must have a clean bowel for the test. Your doctor will give you instructions on when your child should stop eating and how to give the liquid or pills that clean out the bowel. This is called a "colon prep."
This procedure is done in a doctor's office or a clinic or hospital. Your child will get medicine for pain and to help him or her relax. Some children don't remember having the test because of the medicine.
The test takes 30 to 45 minutes. You can take your child home after the medicine wears off. This takes 1 to 2 hours.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Procedures can be stressful both for your child and for you. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your child's procedure.
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Current as of: August 9, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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