Colonoscopy is a procedure that allows the doctor to visualize the inside of the patient's large intestine (also known as the colon). This procedure might be done to check for abnormal growths of the large intestine, such as polyps or tumors, or other problems such as irritation and ulceration. In order to perform the colonoscopy, the doctor inserts a colonoscope (camera attached to long tube) up the anus and into the large intestine, and might also take tissue samples to test the cells in the laboratory. Taking tissue samples and testing the cells in the sample is known as a biopsy. In some instances, the doctor might remove abnormal growths during the procedure as well.
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