Sigmoidoscopy is a procedure used to see inside the sigmoid colon and rectum.
Flexible sigmoidoscopy; Sigmoidoscopy - flexible; Proctoscopy; Proctosigmoidoscopy; Rigid sigmoidoscopy
You will be asked to lay down on your left side with your knees drawn up toward your chest.
A gastroenterologist or surgeon will usually perform the test.
First, the doctor gently places a gloved and lubricated finger into your rectum to check for blockage and to gently enlarge (dilate) the anus. This is called a digital rectal exam.
Next, a flexible tube called a sigmoidoscope is placed through the anus and gently moved into your colon. This tool has a small camera attached to the end. Air is placed into the colon to open up the area and help the doctor see better. The air may cause the urge to have a bowel movement or pass gas. Suction may be used to remove fluid or stool.
Tissue samples may be taken with a tiny biopsy tool inserted through the scope. Polyps may be removed with heat (electrocautery). Images may be taken.
Sigmoidoscopy using a rigid scope may be done to treat problems of the anus or rectum.
Your doctor or nurse will tell you how to prepare for the exam. This includes using a enema to empty your bowels. You usually take this about 1 hour before the sigmoidoscopy.
On the morning of the procedure, eat a light breakfast.
During the exam you may feel:
After the test, your body will pass the air that was introduced.
Children may be sedated for this procedure.
This test can help diagnose the cause of:
This test can also be used to:
Normal findings show that the lining of the sigmoid colon, rectal mucosa, rectum, and anus appear normal in color, texture, and size.
Abnormal results can indicate:
There is a slight risk of bowel perforation (tearing a hole) and bleeding at the biopsy sites (the overall risk is less than 1 in 1,000).
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