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Colonoscopy is a test that allows your doctor to look at the inner lining of your large intestine (rectum and colon). He or she uses a thin, flexible tube called a colonoscope to look at the colon. A colonoscopy helps find ulcers, colon polyps, tumors, and areas of inflammation or bleeding. Colonoscopy is a procedure in which a trained specialist uses a long, flexible, narrow tube with a light and tiny camera on one end, called a colonoscope or scope, to look inside your rectum and colon. Colonoscopy can show irritated and swollen tissue, ulcers, polyps, and cancerExternal Link Disclaimer.
How is virtual colonoscopy different from colonoscopy?
Virtual colonoscopy and colonoscopy are different in several ways. Virtual colonoscopy is an X ray test, takes less time, and doesn’t require a doctor to insert a colonoscope into the entire length of your colon. However, virtual colonoscopy may not be as effective as colonoscopy at detecting certain polyps. Also, doctors cannot treat problems during virtual colonoscopy, while they can treat some problems during colonoscopy. Your health insurance coverage for virtual colonoscopy and colonoscopy may also be different.

Why do doctors use colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy can help a doctor find the cause of unexplained symptoms, such as

  • changes in your bowel activity
  • pain in your abdomen
  • bleeding from your anus
  • unexplained weight loss

Doctors also use colonoscopy as a screening tool for cancer External. Screening is testing for diseases when you have no symptoms. Screening may find diseases at an early stage, when a doctor has a better chance of curing the disease.