Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

What is a sigmoidoscopy?

During the test, the doctor puts a short, thin, flexible, lighted tube into the rectum. This tube allows the doctor to check for polyps or cancer inside the rectum and lower third of the colon.

What is it like preparing for a sigmoidoscopy?

Your doctor will tell you what foods you can and cannot eat before the test. The evening before the test, you use a strong laxative and/or enema to clean out the colon.

Frequency?

This test should be done every 5 years.  When it is done in combination with high-sensitivity FOBT, testing should be done every 3 years.  If anything unusual is found, your doctor will recommend a follow-up colonoscopy.