Flexible sigmoidoscopy is an outpatient or office-based procedure using a long, flexible tubular instrument to view the inner lining of the lower large intestine/colon and rectum. A biopsy can also be taken, if necessary, through the instrument.
Usually an enema is given 2 hours at home prior to the procedure. No sedation is required. The procedure takes 5-10 minutes.
Flexible sigmoidoscopy is commonly used to evaluate gastrointestinal symptoms such as pain, bleeding or change in bowel habits. It can also detect polyps or cancer.