Who performs a colonoscopy and what do they look for?
A colonoscopy is a very technical procedure that requires special training in order to be performed effectively and safely. The majority of doctors who perform colonoscopies are gastroenterologists (a doctor whose specialty is the digestive tract), and also well trained surgeons. Any specially trained doctor who performs a colonoscopy, can also be generally referred to as an endoscopist. Drs. Gelrud and Echavarria explain that a colonoscopy involves a thorough examination of the entire colon and rectum to look for problems such as ulcers, inflammation, bleeding, polyps and tumors. If your doctor finds polyps or suspicious areas during the colonoscopy, the polyps will be removed and small tissue samples will be taken (called biopsy) to be checked for signs of cancer.
This educational activity has been developed by Mechanisms in Medicine Inc. This activity is endorsed by the Colon Cancer Coalition.
This activity is supported by an independent educational grant from Boston Scientific and Ferring Pharmaceuticals.
This website is part of the Animated Patient™ series developed by Mechanisms in Medicine Inc., to provide highly visual formats of learning for patients to improve their understanding, make informed decisions, and partner with their health care professionals for optimal outcomes.