• Medical Author:
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

  • Medical Editor: Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)
    Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)

    Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)

    Dr. Anand received MBBS degree from Medical College Amritsar, University of Punjab. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at the Postgraduate Institute of medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India. He was trained in the field of Gastroenterology and obtained the DPhil degree. Dr. Anand is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology.

Quick GuideDigestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions

Digestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions

What's new in colonoscopy?

There are several new developments in colonoscopy. Most of these center around improving the detection of difficult-to-identify lesions-- small ones (for example, small polyps) and flat ones--as well as the ability to determine at the time of colonoscopy whether or not smaller polyps and lesions need to be biopsied or removed because they may contain premalignant or malignant tissue. This is important because many of these lesions are not premalignant or malignant, and a lot of time and money is spent removing them and sending them for microscopic examination unnecessarily.

High resolution images that allow better detection of flat lesions have become standard on most colonoscopes. Magnification of the images also may improve the detection of the lesions.

Narrow-band imaging uses a special wavelength of light that enhances the pattern of tiny blood vessels that lie just below the lining of the colon. The pattern of these vessels is different in normal, premalignant and malignant tissue. Determination of the pattern allows lesions, particularly premalignant and malignant flat lesions, to be identified more easily and also allows a decision to be made as to whether or not the lesion should be biopsied or removed at the time of colonoscopy without waiting for the results of the microscopic examination.

Reviewed on 10/11/2016
Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care


UpToDate. Patient information: Colonoscopy (Beyond the Basics). IMAGES:


2.Getty Images/Visuals Unlimited, Inc./Carol & Mike Werner




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