BSIP, VEM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP, VEM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Endoscope inside the colon. Coloured X-ray of a patient's abdomen, showing an endoscope (colono- scope) winding through the colon. Bones of the spine (green) and pelvis (lower frame) are seen. The endoscope (red) has been passed up through the rectum, and achieves a loop as it moves the length of the colon. A colonoscope is a flexible endo- scope with fibre-optic illumination, by which the surgeon can examine the interior of the large intestine. The device may also be fitted with forceps and cutting instruments to retrieve tissue samples for biopsy examination, or to remove polyps. Crohn's disease, ulcers, and cancer may be diagnosed in this way.
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