Colonoscopy question

Specialties Gastroenterology


I'm hoping someone can help me. I have a question about colonoscopy. When someone has this procedure done and the doctor takes a "biopsy", what exactly is he looking for? Signs of cancer , ulcerative colitis, _______??????

If the report comes back "fine" does that mean nothing is seriously wrong?

Thanks for any input you guys can give.


1,244 Posts

yup. that's about right. I've seen reports of polyps, hemorrhoids, cancer, and other things I can't remember just now---glad they didn't find anything.


267 Posts

If a report comes back fine it can mean nothing wrong, or possibly small abnormalities that aren't causing problems.

Taking a biopsy generally means that they've seen something (lump, inflammation, polyp) that needs investigating. Once the cytology results come back you'll get the full picture. Having said that, sometimes they'll take a biopsy of apparently normal tissue to prove that it is just that - normal.


130 Posts

thanks for your replies.

I had the colonoscopy done about 3 weeks ago and the doc said it looked like I had some inflammation in the sigmoid colon region. He said it didn't appear to be ulcerative colitis but it looked like I had a touch of "colitis". I didn't know there was a difference between the two. I was wondering if that was why he did the biopsy to see if it was indeed ulcerative. But they told me the report came back "fine" and he would see me this Thursday for a follow up visit. I just associate cancer with the word biopsy and was wondering if that was also what he was looking for.

Does this sound minor to you guys? Should I not worry?

Specializes in Oncology/Haemetology/HIV.


Colitis is a very general term for colon inflammation - from any cause. Many illnesses, foods, problems can cause transient colitis, which generally resolves.

Ulcerative Colitis is a very specific form, related to autoimmune disfunction, and is generally a lifelong disease. While, it may or may not be visible during a scope procedure, biopsies of tissue will show long term inflammatory changes, not visible during scoping.

As such, most MDs will do some random biopsies (6-9) during a scope to see what things look like on a cellular level.

This topic is now closed to further replies.

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X