The colonoscopy or lower endoscopy is a procedure that allows the examination of the interior of the large intestine, starting at the anus and including the rectus, multiple segment of the colon until the union with the small intestine is reached.
Starting at the age of 45 it is highly suggested to undergo a colonoscopy for the timely detection of pre-cancerous lesions called polyps. If found, these can be removed, eliminating the risk of these developing into colon cancer. The patient can resume normal daily activities at the end of the procedure.
During the colonoscopy, it is possible to examine the entirety of the colon to locate the site or multiple sites of bleeding, or hemorrhage. Once located, the hemorrhage can be stopped by implementing different methods as are clips or sclerosing agents, depending on which method is more adequate for the patient’s condition. Stopping the hemorrhage prevents the need for blood transfusion, prolonged stays in the hospital, and even the need for surgery.
Once the presence of polyps has been diagnosed in the colon, the next step is their removal by means of a polypectomy. Using a variety of endoscopic tools, the polyps are removed to then be sent to histopatologic lab analysis to classify the state of the polyp cells and determine if they are benign or malign.