Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a test that uses a narrow, flexible tube with a light and camera on one end, called a sigmoidoscope, to look inside the rectum and a portion of the colon. The tube is inserted through the anus and slowly advanced to the rectum and lower part of the colon, called the sigmoid.


Flexible sigmoidoscopy may be used to screen for colon cancer. It is also used to diagnose the following symptoms:

  1. Changes in bowel habits.
  2. Abdominal pain.
  3. Bleeding from the anus.
  4. Unexplained weight loss.
It is often possible to determine the specific cause of symptoms. Conditions such as colitis and diverticulosis can be monitored to determine effectiveness of treatment. Polyps and tumors can be discovered at an early stage.
The success of the procedure depends on a number of factors. Please discuss the likelihood of success with your doctor before the procedure.
What happens if I decide not to have a flexible sigmoidoscopy?
Your doctor may not be able to confirm the cause of the problem. If you decide not to have a flexible sigmoidoscopy, you should discuss this carefully with your doctor
Alternative testing includes barium enema x-ray. Additionally, the stools can be examined in a variety of ways to uncover or study certain bowel conditions.

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