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Sigmoidoscopy

Sigmoidoscopy is the inspection of the lower part of the large intestine (colon) using a lighted viewing scope (sigmoidoscope). A doctor can also remove small growths and collect tissue samples (biopsy) through a sigmoidoscope.

Sigmoidoscopy is most commonly used to screen for colon cancer. About half of all colon tumors and polyps can be found using sigmoidoscopy.

Sigmoidoscopy is done in a hospital or doctor's office that has the necessary equipment. Preparation for the test includes emptying the bowels ahead of time using a laxative or enema.

Last Revised: December 7, 2011

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Arvydas D. Vanagunas, MD - Gastroenterology

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