Colonoscopy helps doctors examine the entire colon. But sometimes only the sigmoid colon need a close inspection. Then the doctor will recommend a Sigmoidoscopy

Sigmoidoscopy is a procedure that lets the doctor look inside the sigmoid colon by using a flexible tube with a light on it.

It helps the doctor check for:

  • Ulcers
  • Abnormal cells
  • Polyps
  • Cancer

Usually, pieces of tissue will be taken as samples to check for any abnormal cell changes.


Preparing for a sigmoidoscopy is similar to preparing for a colonoscopy. You’ll likely use one or more enemas approximately two hours before the procedure.

Before the procedure, tell the doctor about any medical conditions you have and all medications and supplements you’re taking.

The risks are very minimal, but it is possible for a tear to occur in the colon or the wall of the rectum on rare occasions.

If doctor takes a tissue sample, bleeding could occur in the place where the sample was taken.

One may feel bloated and pass gas a few hours after the procedure.

You may also notice a small amount of blood with your first bowel movement after the exam. Usually this isn’t a cause for alarm.

Consult doctor if you continue to pass blood or blood clots or if you have persistent abdominal pain or  fever.