WHAT IS A FLEXIBLE SIGMOIDOSCOPY?
A flexible sigmoidoscopy (sig-moi-DOS-kuh-pee) is an exam used to evaluate the lower part of the large intestine (colon). During a flexible sigmoidoscopy exam, a thin, flexible tube (sigmoidoscope) is inserted into the rectum.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A FLEXIBLE SIGMOIDOSCOPY?
A tiny video camera at the tip of the tube allows the doctor to view the inside of the rectum, the sigmoid colon and most of the descending colon — just under the last 2 feet (about 50 centimeters) of the large intestine. If necessary, tissue samples (biopsies) can be taken through the scope during a flexible sigmoidoscopy exam.
Flexible sigmoidoscopy doesn't allow the doctor to see the entire colon. As a result, flexible sigmoidoscopy alone can't detect cancer or small clumps of cells that could develop into cancer (polyps) farther into the colon.
WHY MIGHT I NEED A FLEXIBLE SIGMOIDOSCOPY?
Flexible sigmoidoscopies are often used to help investivate intestinal signs and symptoms to get to the root of abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, and changes in bowel movements.
It is also a useful tool to help screen for colon cancer for anyone age 50 or older.
For more information or to schedule a visit, call Dr. Ashwath's office today!
** Sourced from Mayoclinic.org **