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What is a colonoscopy?

Colonoscopy is a way of looking at the inside of your colon (large bowel). It is carried out by someone with special training called an endoscopist. We carry out a colonoscopy in a specially designed department called the endoscopy unit.

The endoscopist uses a colonoscope, which is a long, slim, flexible instrument. It is about the thickness of an index finger, and has a bright light and small lens at its tip. The colonoscope allows the endoscopist to view the inside of your colon on a video monitor.

The endoscopist can pass a smaller instrument down the colonoscope so that he can take a small sample of your tissue (biopsy) or remove small growths (polyps) from the wall of your colon.

Looking down a long bright hospital corridor with treatment rooms on the left and windows on the right. At the bottom of the corridor is one member of staff in a blue nursing uniform

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