An optical colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure that allows the
physician to examine the entire length of the large intestine through
use of an endoscope, a long, flexible, lighted tube (also called a
colonoscope) that is inserted through the rectum into the colon. In
addition to allowing visualization of the internal colon, the
colonoscope enables the physician to irrigate, suction, inject air, and
access the bowel with surgical instruments. During an optical
colonoscopy, the physician may remove tissue and/or polyps for further
examination and possibly treat any problems that are discovered.
Other related procedures that may be used to assess problems of the
colon include abdominal x-ray, computed tomography (CT scan) of the
abdomen, abdominal ultrasound, barium enema, and sigmoidoscopy.
For more information, call 1.866.CALL.MLH.