What Is a Colonoscopy?

  • Colonoscopy is a test to look inside your colon.
  • A colonoscopy is done by a gastroenterologist, a doctor trained in looking at the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
  • The main tool used to look inside the colon is a colonoscope.
    • The colonoscope is a long, thin (about the width of your little finger), flexible tube with a tiny camera and a light on the end.
    • The colonoscope is long enough to look at all of the large bowel and even the lower part of the small intestine.
  • Colonoscopy is a safe and effective way to look for GI health issues and sometimes even treat those health issues.
  • It’s important to get a high-quality colonoscopy. Keep in mind that high cost doesn’t necessarily mean high quality. Ask your doctor how often he or she reaches the end of the large intestine and how often he or she finds polyps.