Independent advice on private healthcare
Flexible sigmoidoscopy is done to detect cancer in the portion of the colon, the sigmoid colon, close to the rectum and anus. A small tube containing viewing equipment is placed through the anus into the colon. As the tube is slowly removed from the colon, the doctor looks for any abnormalities. If a polyp or other abnormality is identified, a biopsy may be taken to test for the presence of cancer. Polyps may also be removed. If polyps are detected, a full colonoscopy may be recommended to check the entire colon and remove any additional polyps. There are rarely any major complications, but feeling bloated and cramping is normal. The procedure usually takes around 15 minutes, and can be done as an outpatient procedure.