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Overview

The flexible sigmoidoscopy is an endoscopic procedure that allows a physician to look at the inside of the large intestine from the rectum to the sigmoid or descending colon.

This procedure is performed to help find the cause of lower gastrointestinal symptoms including diarrhea, rectal bleeding or constipation, as well as evaluate for early signs of cancer in the lower colon and rectum.

doctor talking to patient

Preparation

If your physician has ordered a flexible sigmoidoscopy, follow these instructions beginning the day before your procedure.

What to Expect

During the procedure, the physician will insert a sigmoidoscope, which is a short, lighted tube, into your rectum and slowly guides it into your colon. Using air to inflate the colon and a monitor, the doctor can visualize the inside of the rectum and the lower colon. Simple therapeutic objectives, including biopsies, removal of polyps or cauterization can be performed.

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