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Digestive Disorders

Colonoscopy

04/15/2001

Question:

I am due to have a colonoscopy next month. Would you please tell me how long it will normally take my doctor to perform this procedure?

Answer:

A colonoscopy is an examination of the colon (large bowel) using a lighted, flexible instrument. In general a colonoscopy takes 20-30 minutes to perform, sometimes shorter and sometimes longer. The main thing that results in a longer completion time is if polyps (benign growths on the inner lining of the colon) need to be removed during the procedure. Also some patients have colons that are longer or have more curves and bends, and in such cases it might take longer also.

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Response by:

John D Long, MD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati