Sigmoidoscopy Procedure

Sigmoidoscopy is the minimally invasive medical examination of the large intestine from the rectum through the last part of the colon. Unlike colonoscopy which examines the entire colon, sigmoidoscopy examines only the distal part of the colon. There are two types of sigmoidoscopy: flexible sigmoidoscopy, using a flexible endoscope, and rigid sigmoidoscopy using a rigid device. Flexible sigmoidoscopy enables the physician to look at the inside of the large intestine from the rectum through the last part of the colon, called the sigmoid. Rigid sigmoidoscopy is used for examination of rectal bleeding and anorectal diseases. Sigmoidoscopy helps to find the cause of diarrhea, abdominal pain, constipation, detecting any benign and malignant polyps and any early signs of cancer in the descending colon and rectum. The physician inserts a short, flexible, lit tube into the rectum and slowly guides it into the colon. The tube is called a sigmoidoscope. The scope transmits an image of the inside of the rectum and colon, so the physician can carefully examine the lining of these organs.

Advantages: Sigmoidoscopy helps to detect early signs of cancer in the descending colon and rectum. The procedure is short, safe and fairly accurate.

FAQs:

What are the dos and don’ts for the patients before the procedures?

The colon and rectum must be completely empty. The patient must drink only clear liquids for 12 to 24 hours beforehand. A night before patient will receive enema to clean the bowl.

Are there any complications following sigmoidoscopy?

Sigmoidoscopy is fairly safe and short procedure (10-20 minutes); however in very few cases bleeding and puncture of the colon may occur.

Will I be given anaesthsia?

No; this procedure does not require ananethesia. Only local anaesthetic cream at the opening on the anus time of insertion of the tube will be applied.

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