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Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

When a patient presents with symptoms such as bloody stools, chronic diarrhoea or constipation, abdominal pain, and rectal bleeding a gastroenterologist often recommends a colon cancer screening procedure. While colonoscopy is the widely used investigative procedure, the doctor may not want to screen the entire large intestine and may want to investigate only the rectum and sigmoid colon. In these cases, the recommended procedure is a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy. Like colonoscopy, a thin flexible scope (fitted with a camera) is passed through the rectum but this scope is sent up only through the lower part of the colon. Any polyps present are removed and sent for laboratory investigation. Unlike colonoscopy, Flexible Sigmoidoscopy does not require an extensive bowel cleanse and prep and the patient is not required to take any sedative either. It is much less invasive than a colonoscopy and the risks involved are less too.