Flexible sigmoidoscopy is an examination of the lower one third of the large intestine, also known as the colon. This procedure is typically performed to evaluate symptoms such as diarrhea, rectal bleeding, or rectal pain.
A flexible instrument is inserted into the rectum and carefully advanced into the last portion of the colon known as the sigmoid colon. As the instrument is slowly withdrawn, the lining of the sigmoid colon and rectum is carefully inspected by the physician using images transmitted by the scope to a television monitor. Any abnormalities can be biopsied for further analysis.
This procedure does not typically require sedation and can usually be completed in about 10 minutes.