Your colon helps your body absorb water and nutrients from the food you eat. It’s also where your stool is formed. The last third of your descending colon is called the sigmoid colon. It’s connected to your anus by your rectum.A colonoscopy helps doctors examine the entire colon. But sometimes only the sigmoid colon warrants close inspection. That’s when a doctor will recommend a sigmoidoscopy.

A sigmoidoscopy is done with a device called a sigmoidoscope. A sigmoidoscope is a pencil-thin, flexible tube with a light and a camera on the end. During a sigmoidoscopy, the doctor inserts the sigmoidoscope into the anus, through the rectum, and into the lower part of the colon. The doctor views the inside of the colon through the scope or on a video monitor

A sigmoidoscopy, also called a flexible sigmoidoscopy, is a procedure that lets your doctor look inside your sigmoid colon by using a flexible tube with a light on it. It helps your doctor check for:

  • Ulcers
  • Abnormal cells
  • Polyps
  • Cancer

When is a sigmoidoscopy performed?

You should tell your doctor if you notice:

  • changes in your bowel habits
  • rectal bleeding
  • abdominal pain
  • unexplained weight loss

These can be signs of various colon diseases, and a sigmoidoscopy might be the procedure to help determine the cause of your symptoms. A sigmoidoscopy is also a general screening tool for colon cancer.

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