Flexible sigmoidoscopy:is a test that a doctor uses to check the inner lining of your rectum and the lower part of your colon.

  • You may get this test if you have certain gut problems, such as abdominal painrectal bleeding, or changes in bowel habits. It’s also one of the tools that doctors use to check people for colon and rectal cancer.

  • A sigmoidoscope is a long, flexible tube that’s about half an inch in diameter. It has a tiny light and camera. A doctor uses it to view the lining of the rectum and the lower third of the colon.

  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy doesn’t allow the doctor to see the entire colon. As a result, any cancers or polyps farther into the colon can’t be detected with flexible sigmoidoscopy alone

What Happens During the Test?

  • A flexible sigmoidoscopy usually lasts from 10 to 20 minutes. You won’t need to be sedated.

  • Your doctor will have you lie on your left side, with your knees drawn up. He will insert the sigmoidoscope through the rectum and pass it into your sigmoid colon. The doctor will use a small amount of air to expand the colon to see the colon walls.

  • You may feel mild cramping during the procedure. To lessen those cramps, you can take several slow, deep breaths.

  • The doctor will slowly take the sigmoidoscope out while carefully examining the lining of your bowel.