What is examination of the rectum by camera?
Sigmoidoscopy is a screening technique that allows the examination of the rectum and the left side of the colon. (It is named after the sigmoid colon which is an S-shaped bend where the colon and rectum meet). A sigmoidoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera and light at the end. It is inserted into the rectum and up into the colon. The left side of the bowel needs to be empty to ensure good views, this is achieved by giving an enema on arrival in the unit. Magnified images of the inside of the bowel are sent to a video screen. If cancer is suspected, a biopsy (small sample of tissue) is taken for further testing in a laboratory, if polyps are found they may also be removed and sent to the lab for analysis.
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