A flexible sigmoidoscopy is a procedure used to see inside the sigmoid colon and rectum, the last portions of the large intestine. If your child is experiencing abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, or rectal bleeding, your child's doctor may recommend a flexible sigmoidoscopy to detect inflammation, infection or polyps.
After your child is asleep (by sedation or general anesthesia), a colonoscope, which is a long, flexible tube with a light and tiny camera on one end, is inserted into your child’s rectum. This lets the doctor see the last portion of the large intestine. Small tissue samples (called biopsies) are collected. A laboratory will use these samples to diagnose your child.
Though similar to a colonoscopy, a flexible sigmoidoscopy differs in that the doctor is only examining a portion of the colon, not the entire structure. Because of this, a flexible sigmoidoscopy is typically a shorter procedure (5-10 minutes) than a colonoscopy (approximately 30 minutes). Your child’s doctor will tell you which test is preferred for your child’s condition.
To learn more or request an appointment, call 215-590-3326.
Reviewed by: Petar Mamula, MD
Date: May 2014