Sigmoidoscopy (Anoscopy, Proctoscopy)
How It Is Done
You will most likely lie on your left side during the test. You may also be asked to kneel on the table with your bottom raised in the air.
Once you are in position:
- Your doctor will gently insert a gloved finger into your anus to check for tenderness or blockage. For men, your doctor will also check the condition of the Reference prostate gland Opens New Window.
- The lubricated scope is then inserted. The scope is moved slowly forward into the rectum and lower colon. During a sigmoidoscopy, puffs of air sometimes are blown through the scope to open the colon so that your doctor can see more clearly.
- Suction may be used to remove watery stool, enema liquid, mucus, or blood through the scope.
- Once your doctor has moved the scope forward as far as possible, it is slowly withdrawn while tissue is carefully inspected.
- Your doctor may also insert tiny instruments (forceps, loops, swabs) through the scope to collect tissue samples (biopsy) or to remove growths. Tissue samples may be sent to a laboratory for examination.
See the following pictures:
- Reference Step 1: The sigmoidoscope is inserted Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window.
- Reference Step 2: The doctor examines the wall of the sigmoid colon Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window.
After the scope is removed, your anal area will be cleaned with tissues. If you are having cramps, passing gas may help relieve them.
The entire examination usually takes 5 to 15 minutes, slightly longer if tissue samples are taken or if polyps are removed.
If you received a Reference sedative Opens New Window during the test, do not drive, operate machinery, or sign legal documents for 24 hours after the test. Arrange to have someone drive you home after the test.
After the test you may resume your regular diet, unless your doctor gives you other directions. Be sure to drink plenty of liquids to replace those you have lost during the preparation for the sigmoidoscopy.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference December 7, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Arvydas D. Vanagunas, MD - Gastroenterology