This procedure is an examination of the large intestine. The physician will look for inflammation, ulcers, or abnormal growths called polyps. The physician uses a colonoscope. This is an instrument with a small camera attached to a soft, flexible tube. The procedure usually lasts from 30 minutes to an hour.


Before the exam, the patient is usually given medicine for relaxation and to minimize discomfort. The patient is positioned on the side. The colonoscope is inserted into the rectum. It is slowly guided into the colon.

The Examination

The physician carefully examines the lining of the colon. The patient may be asked to change positions as the camera is maneuvered. Air may be pumped through the colonoscope to inflate the colon. The physician may remove polyps, if found, and collect small samples of tissue.

End of Procedure and After Care

After the exam, the patient is observed while the sedative wears off. Some cramping, bloating, or gas is normal after the procedure. Most patients are fully recovered and back to a normal diet by the next day. If you have any questions about preparing for or undergoing a colonoscopy, please speak with your doctor.