It is a procedure performed for seeing the sigmoid colon (a part of the large intestine) by using an endoscope inserted through the anus.
It is used for diagnosis of colon and colorectal cancers.
It is done for examination of polyps, any abnormal growth and/or ulcers in the colon and rectum.
This procedure may also be used for investigating the cause of abdominal pain, long lasting diarrhea and constipation.
The bowel should be empty and clean to allow examination for which you will be asked to be on clear liquids for a day or two before the surgery, laxatives may be given and/or enemas may be injected.
It is performed as an outpatient procedure. Anesthesia or sedation is not required.
You will be asked to lie down on one side with knees pulled up to the chest.
The doctor inserts lubricated finger to dilate the anus.
Then an endoscope called as sigmoidoscope is inserted into the rectum and guide to the colon. Air is blown into colon and rectum to inflate them so as to allow their better internal view on the screen.Any polyp or inflamed tissue if seen is removed and sent for examination.
The procedure takes about 20-30 minutes.
There may be some abdominal cramping and pain but it will soon subside. You may also briefly experience some pressure and bloating. Anus may be sore for some time.
If there is heavy bleeding and sever pain after the procedure, you must contact your treating doctor.
Risk and Complications
There may be bleeding, pain and infection. The colon may be punctured /perforated during the procedure causing severe bleeding.
Sigmoidoscopy procedure can be embarrassing. You may feel uncomfortable.
It is screening tool for colon cancer and may need to be performed periodically when there is a strong family history of colon cancer.
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