Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What is sigmoidoscopy


A flexible sigmoidoscopy (SIG-moy-DAH-skuh-pee) exam is a short colonoscopy exam, limited to the lower one third of the colon. Sigmoidoscopy enables the physician to look at the sigmoid colon. Physicians may use this procedure to find the cause of diarrhea, abdominal pain, or constipation. They also use sigmoidoscopy to look for early signs of cancer in the colon and rectum. With sigmoidoscopy, the physician can see bleeding, inflammation, abnormal growths, and ulcers.

Sigmoidoscopy takes 10 to 20 minutes. During the procedure, you might feel pressure and slight cramping in your lower abdomen. You will feel better afterwards when the air leaves your colon. 

The discovery of a polyp on flexible sigmoidoscopy necessitates a complete colon inspection with a colonoscope, since at least 30 percent of these patients will have additional polyps.

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