What is flexible sigmoidoscopy?

Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a routine outpatient procedure in which the inside of the lower large intestine (called the sigmoid colon) is examined.

Flexible sigmoidoscopy is commonly used to evaluate bowel disorders, rectal bleeding, or polyps (usually benign growths). Sigmoidoscopy is also performed to screen people over age 50 for colon and rectal cancer.

Gastrointestinal tract | Cleveland Clinic

During the procedure, a physician uses a sigmoidoscope to view the lining of the rectum and the lower large intestine. A sigmoidoscope is a long, flexible instrument about 1/2 inch in diameter, with a light and tiny camera at its end. The instrument is inserted through the rectum and advanced to the large intestine.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/25/2016.

References

  • Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Accessed 7/27/2017.
  • Isselbacher KJ. "Screening Flexible Sigmoidoscopy: Data Supporting Its Beneficial Results" (update). In: Longo DL, Fauci AS, Kasper DL, Hauser SL, Jameson JL, Loscalzo J, eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 18th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Lab Tests Online. Screening Tests for Adults (Age 50 and Up) Accessed 7/27/2017.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy