Colonoscopy is a medical procedure used to diagnose and treat conditions of the large intestine. A long, flexible tube with a camera and light, called a colonoscope, is inserted into the rectum and through the colon to examine the lining of the intestine. It is a valuable tool used by gastroenterologists to diagnose and treat a range of conditions.
Colonoscopy is primarily used as a diagnostic tool to investigate symptoms related to the large intestine. These symptoms include abdominal pain, chronic blood loss, chronic diarrhea, and per rectal bleeding. It is also used for surveillance colonoscopy in patients with a history of polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, or cancer. During the procedure, the doctor can take tissue samples for biopsy, remove polyps, and look for any abnormalities that may be present.
In addition to diagnostic use, colonoscopy is also used therapeutically to treat various conditions of the large intestine. Some of the procedures performed using colonoscopy include:
Polypectomy: Polyps are small growths on the inner lining of the intestine that can become cancerous over time. Colonoscopy can be used to remove these polyps to reduce the risk of cancer.
Colonic dilatation: Colonic dilatation is used to treat strictures, or narrowings, in the colon that can cause obstruction. The doctor can use a balloon to gently stretch the narrowed area and restore normal function.
Hemostasis of ulcer bleed: Ulcers can cause bleeding in the colon, and colonoscopy can be used to stop the bleeding by applying various techniques like injection, clips or thermal treatment.
In conclusion, colonoscopy is a valuable diagnostic and therapeutic procedure used to examine and treat conditions of the large intestine. It is a safe and effective way to diagnose and treat a range of conditions, including polyps, strictures, and ulcer bleeding. If you are experiencing any symptoms related to the large intestine, speak to your doctor to see if colonoscopy may be the right choice for you. It is important to follow up with your gastroenterologist regularly to ensure optimal care and management of your intestinal health.
Dr. Sandeep Dhavan
MBBS,MD (Medicine), DM (Gastroenterology) (PGIMER-Chandigarh, India)
Gastroenterology & Hepatology