Colonoscopy and Ulcerative Colitis
One of the tests that a healthcare provider may use to help diagnose ulcerative colitis is a colonoscopy. Ulcerative colitis diagnosis using a colonoscopy involves inserting a soft, bendable tube with a camera on it into the anus to look at the large intestine. This instrument allows the healthcare provider to see whether the lining of the colon is irritated.
To help diagnose ulcerative colitis, your healthcare provider may recommend a procedure called a "colonoscopy." Ulcerative colitis diagnosis using a colonoscopy involves inserting a soft, bendable tube with a camera attached to it through your anus to look at your large intestine. Your healthcare provider uses this instrument -- which is about the width of your index finger -- to see if the lining of your colon is irritated.
During this procedure, a biopsy (a small piece of tissue) may be removed for further study if something doesn't look normal.
The colon must be completely clean before a colonoscopy can be done. If the colon still contains waste, your healthcare provider may not be able to clearly see the lining of your intestine and the test results may not be as accurate.
To help you prepare for your colonoscopy, your healthcare providers should give you instructions about what you can eat one to two days before the procedure. You will also probably need to take a laxative preparation the day before your exam (see Colonoscopy Preparation).
Be sure that you fully understand what you need to do to prepare for this test. It's very important that you follow your healthcare provider's instructions for your specific cleansing routine.
(Click on Diagnosing Ulcerative Colitis for more information about colonoscopy and the other tests that may be used to diagnose ulcerative colitis.)