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How long does a colonoscopy take?

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Quick Answer

A colonoscopy takes approximately 30 to 60 minutes to perform, according to WebMD. A gastroenterologist typically performs the procedure using a colonoscope, which is a long, thin, flexible tube with a camera attached that transmits images of the colon lining.

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WebMD states that a colonoscopy is performed to evaluate the inside of the colon, and the device helps the examining physician locate polyps, tumors, ulcers and areas of inflammation or bleeding. The procedure involves sedating the patient and inserting a colonoscope into the rectum, then advancing it through the colon as far as the cecum, explains MedicineNet.com. During the examination, the physician can remove polyps or abnormal growths, and perform a biopsy if necessary, removing a small amount of tissue for further analysis, notes WebMD.

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