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It is used to examine, diagnose, and treat problems in your large intestine. The procedure is most often done for the following reasons:
- To determine the cause of abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, or a change in bowel habits
- To detect and treat colon cancer or colon polyps
- To obtain tissue samples for testing
- To stop intestinal bleeding
- Monitor response to treatment if you have inflammatory bowel disease
Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have a colonoscopy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
- Perforation or puncture of the bowel
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
- Pre-existing heart or kidney condition
- Treatment with certain medicines, including aspirin and other drugs with anticoagulant or blood-thinning properties
- Prior abdominal surgery or radiation treatments
- Active colitis , diverticulitis , or other acute bowel disease
- Previous treatment with radiation therapy
Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the procedure.
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