A procedure to look inside the bowel (rectum and colon)
Colonoscopy is a procedure to look inside the rectum and colon for polyps, abnormal areas, or cancer.
A colonoscope is inserted through the anus and rectum and into the colon.
A colonoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing.
It may also have a tool to remove polyps or tissue samples, which are checked under a microscope for signs of cancer.
Polyps can also be removed by a procedure known as polypectomy.
A colonoscopy will take around 30 minutes and you will be given sedation to help you relax.
This may sometimes mean you are completely unaware of the procedure but even if you are still awake, it should not be painful.
Because of the sedation, you should arrange for someone to collect you and take you home.