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A colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure in which the inside of the entire colon is examined for abnormalities. A doctor uses a colonoscope—a thin, flexible instrument—to view the lining of the colon. Conscious sedation is used during the procedure; it is a mild IV sedation so that the patient is not uncomfortable during the exam. It is recommended that those 50 and older have a colonoscopy every 10 years. Those who have family histories of colon cancer or polyps should be screened more often.

The physicians at the Endoscopy Center at Emerson Hospital are all board-certified or board-eligible, ensuring you will receive the highest quality of care. The Endoscopy Center offers flexible hours and you can schedule your appointment early or late in the day. The Endoscopy Center at Emerson has all the medical support you could need, such as anesthesiology staff, on call at all times. In the rare event that a serious complication arises, the full resources of the hospital are right at hand.

Colonoscopy can help prevent colorectal cancer by early detection. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. A colonoscopy may be used to examine colon polyps, tumors, ulceration, inflammation, diverticula (pouches) and strictures (narrowing). It may also be used to determine the cause of unexplained chronic diarrhea or gastrointestinal bleeding or to evaluate the colon after cancer treatment. Colonoscopy may be indicated when the results of a barium enema and/or sigmoidoscopy warrant further examination of the colon. A colonoscopy may be performed on an outpatient basis or as part of your stay in a hospital.

Emerson offers colonoscopy, along with many other types of endoscopic procedures from a skilled team of specialists in gastroenterology.