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What if the colonoscopy shows something abnormal? PDF Print E-mail


If your doctor thinks an area of the bowel needs to be evaluated in greater detail, a forceps instrument is passed through the colonoscope to obtain a biopsy (a small sample of the colon lining) or a small brush is introduced to collect cells (a cytology test). These specimens are submitted to the pathology laboratory for analysis. If colonoscopy is being performed to identify sites of bleeding, the areas of bleeding may be controlled through the colonoscope by injecting certain medications or by coagulating the bleeding vessels. If polyps are found, they are generally removed. None of these additional procedures produce pain since the colon lining can only sense stretching. Remember, biopsies are taken for many reasons and do not necessarily mean that cancer is suspected.