Sigmoidoscopy: Step 2

Sigmoidoscope in the sigmoid colon

A sigmoidoscopy helps your doctor look at the lower part of your large intestine (sigmoid colon). The test is done using a lighted viewing scope (sigmoidoscope).

During a sigmoidoscopy, puffs of air sometimes are blown through the scope to open the colon so that your doctor can see more clearly. Your doctor will move the scope as far as possible into your lower colon. Then the scope is slowly withdrawn while the colon is carefully inspected. Your doctor may also insert tiny instruments through the scope to get tissue samples (biopsy) or to take out growths.

Current as of: August 22, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Brian O'Brien, MD, FRCPC - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Arvydas D. Vanagunas, MD, FACP, FACG - Gastroenterology

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

Thanks to our partners and endorsers: