Colonoscopy to Diagnose Colorectal Disease at Mercy in Baltimore


This 3D animation describes colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy, procedures used to view the mucosal lining of the lower gastrointestinal tract.

The doctors of The Institute for Digestive Health & Liver Disease at Mercy specialize in diseases of the colon. To help diagnose colon diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, collagenous colitis, and lymphocytic colitis, as well as colon polyps and hemorrhoids, our doctors may perform a colonoscopy. Colonoscopies are performed in our state-of-the-art, dedicated endoscopy suite.

What is a Colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure during which the colon and rectum are examined from the inside. A colonoscopy helps to find ulcers and tumors so they can be removed. In addition, a colorectal cancer screening can be conducted using a colonoscopy.

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How does a Colonoscopy work?

A colonoscopy is performed with a thin tube, called a colonoscope, which has a light and camera at its tip. The colonoscope is inserted into the anus and guided through the colon. As the colonoscopy takes place, the camera transmits images of the inside of the colon to a monitor. During the colonoscopy, tissue samples can be collected for a biopsy and abnormal tissue growth, such as colon polyps, can be removed. 

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When is a Colonoscopy recommended?

When a patient experiences symptoms such as abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, or changes in bowel habits, a colonoscopy can be performed to diagnose the cause of the symptoms. A colonoscopy, which takes approximately 30–60 minutes, generally is tolerated with minimal discomfort.

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Patient Stories
Barbara - Mercy Patient


After feeling ill on New Years Eve, Barbara had a screening that revealed a cancerous tumor in her colon.