Pediatric Colonoscopy

What is a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a procedure used to help diagnose causes of abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, rectal bleeding and unexplained weight loss.

A colonoscope — a long, flexible tube with a light and tiny camera on one end — is inserted into your child’s rectum. This lets the doctor see the large intestine (also called the colon) and the very last portion of the small intestine, called the terminal ileum. Small tissue samples (called biopsies) are collected. A pathology laboratory will use these samples to help diagnose your child's condition.

A colonoscopy is similar to a flexible sigmoidoscopy, but differs in that a colonoscopy lets the doctor examine the inside of the entire colon and rectum, not just a portion. A colonoscopy lasts longer than a flexible sigmoidoscopy (about 30 minutes vs. 5-10 minutes) but may be the best diagnostic tool for your child. Your child’s doctor will tell you which test is preferred for your child’s condition.

This test is available at the following locations: CHOP’s Main Campus; and CHOP Care Network locations in Voorhees, NJ; Bucks County, PA; and Brandywine Valley, PA.

Colonoscopy prep instructions

For your child’s safety, it is very important that you follow these colonoscopy prep instructions exactly. If you do not follow these instructions, your child’s procedure may be cancelled.