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A colonoscopy is a test that lets a doctor look inside your colon. The doctor uses a thin, lighted tube called a colonoscope to look for problems. These include small growths called polyps, cancer, or bleeding.
During the test, the doctor can take samples of tissue that can be checked for cancer or other problems. This is called a biopsy. The doctor can also take out polyps.
Before the test, you will need to stop eating solid foods. You also will drink a liquid or take a tablet that cleans out your colon. This helps your doctor be able to see inside your colon during the test.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Procedures can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.
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Current as of: December 19, 2018
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
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