Common to all endoscopic procedures is the endoscope itself – a long, thin, flexible tube with an attached lighted camera. The endoscope is inserted through the mouth or rectum, depending upon the type of endoscopy needed. Tissue samples (biopsy) can be obtained through an endoscope.
A flexible colonoscope is inserted through the rectum into the colon to allow the physician to view the entire length of the large intestine. During a colonoscopy, the physician examines the lining of the colon and may remove tissue for further examination or treat problems discovered during the procedure.