Colonoscopy is considered to be a very low risk procedure during which a small flexible endoscope is introduced through the anus in order to examine the lower section of the digestive tract. Patients undergoing a colonoscopy are sedated throughout the procedure and usually have little or no memory of the process. Colonoscopies can be used for both diagnostic testing as well as for therapeutic purposes. Occasionally a physician may obtain small tissue samples (biopsies) or may remove small fleshy growths called polyps during the procedure. Once removed, specimens are sent to a laboratory for analysis and the patient receives a report within several weeks.