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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. The doctor will look for causes of your child's symptoms. Your child's symptoms may include belly pain, diarrhea, or bleeding from the rectum.
During the test, the doctor can take samples of tissue or remove any small growths (polyps) that are found. 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 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 your child wakes up and the doctor says it's okay.
Procedures can be stressful for both your child and 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: March 1, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & John Pope MD - Pediatrics
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