Sigmoidoscopy is a procedure used to see inside the sigmoid colon and also rectum. The sigmoid colon is the area that the large intestine nearest to the rectum.

You are watching: A visual examination of the rectum is called

During the test:

You lie on your left side with your knees attracted up to your chest.Next, the sigmoidoscope is put through the anus. The limit is a flexible tube with a camera at its end. The scope is gently moved into your colon. Air is inserted into the colon come enlarge the area and assist the doctor view the area better. The waiting may cause the urge to have a bowel motion or pass gas. Suction may be supplied to remove liquid or stool.Often, the photos are seen in high an interpretation on a video clip monitor.

Sigmoidoscopy making use of a strict scope may be excellent to treat problems of the anus or rectum.

Your health care provider will tell you exactly how to prepare for the exam. Friend will usage an enema to empty her bowels. This is usually done 1 hour before the sigmoidoscopy. Often, a 2nd enema might be recommended or your provider might recommend a fluid laxative the night before.

On the morning the the procedure, you may be inquiry to fast with the exemption of details medicines. Be sure to talk about this with your provider fine in advance. Sometimes, you room asked to follow a clear fluid diet the work before, and sometimes a continuous diet is allowed. Again, comment on this v your provider fine in advance of her test date.

During the exam you might feel:

Pressure during the digital rectal exam or when the scope is put in your rectum.The need to have actually a bowel movement.Some bloating or cramping led to by the wait or by extending of the bowel by the sigmoidoscope.

After the test, your body will certainly pass the air the was put into your colon.

Children might be offered medicine to make them sleep lightly (sedated) because that this procedure.

Your provider might recommend this test to look because that the cause of:

Abdominal painBlood, mucus, or pus in the stoolWeight loss that can"t be explained

This test can likewise be offered to:

Confirm result of one more test or x-raysTake a biopsy that a growth

A normal test result will show no difficulties with the color, texture, and size of the lining the the sigmoid colon, rectal mucosa, rectum, and also anus.

Abnormal results have the right to indicate:

Diverticulosis (abnormal pouches top top the lining of the intestines)Inflammatory bowel disease

There is a slight risk of bowel perforation (tearing a hole) and bleeding in ~ the biopsy sites. The as whole risk is very small.

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Pasricha PJ. Gastrointestinal endoscopy. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 125.

Rex DK, Boland CR, Dominitz JA, et al. Colorectal cancer screening: references for physicians and patients from the U.S. Multi-Society Task pressure on Colorectal Cancer. Am J Gastroenterol. 2017;112(7):1016-1030. PMID: 28555630

Sugumar A, Vargo JJ. Ready for and complications of gastrointestinal endoscopy. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and also Fordtran"s Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 42.

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Updated by: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Clinical Professor that Medicine, The George Washington University institution of Medicine, Washington, DC. Likewise reviewed through David Zieve, MD, MHA, medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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