Sigmoidoscopy

Sigmoidoscopy is the inspection of the lower part of the large intestine (colon) using a lighted viewing scope (sigmoidoscope). A health professional can also remove small growths and collect tissue samples (biopsy) through a sigmoidoscope.

Sigmoidoscopy is most commonly used to screen for colon cancer. About half of all colon tumors and polyps can be found using sigmoidoscopy.

Sigmoidoscopy is done in a hospital or health professional's office that has the necessary equipment. Preparation for the test includes emptying the bowels ahead of time using a laxative or enema.

Last Updated: April 30, 2009

Author: Monica Rhodes

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Jerome B. Simon, MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology

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