What is sigmoideoscopy

Sigmoideoscopy is a scopic examination of the bowel and the left part of the large intestine. With this method the doctor can inspect the large intestine for inflammation, constrictions, polyps tumours etc. It is possible to take tissue samples and smaller polyps can be removed.


The quality of the examination is very much depending on whether the intestine is properly purged. Therefore: follow the purge plan carefully. You shall not take iron tablets or eat bread with seeds the last 5 days before the examination. If you take blood thinning medicine (does not apply to Magnyl), you must agree with the doctor in advance how the treatment is to take place before and after the examination.


For purgation 1 Klyx of 120 ml or 1 Fleet of 133 ml enema is used, which will be handed out at the clinic.

Approximately 1-2 hours before the examination you inject the enema in the bowel. You lie on the left side on a towel or something similar and inserts the tube of the enema bottle in the bowel. Squeeze all the contents into the bowel and keep the bottle squeezed together when you pull it out. You need to keep the enema inside you as long as possible. Expect to need the toilet quickly - generally within a few minutes - and the discharge itself will take about ½ hour. After this you can move around without problems.

The examination

The examination itself takes about 5 minutes. During the examination you lie on your left side. The sigmoideoscope is carefully inserted into the bowel whilst air is being blown in. This can be a little uncomfortable but the air is partly being sucked out again before the end of the examination. When the scope is withdrawn, the intestine is thoroughly inspected and tissue samples are taken. It does not hurt to have tissue samples taken.


You can leave the clinic immediately after the examination. During the day you may sense some discomfort in the stomach. If tissue samples have been taken  within the next 24 hours you may see a little blood in your faeces which is not important. If you experience severe bleeding or pronounced stomach ache you must go to casualty.

Results of the examination

You will get the result of the examination immediately. The results of any tissue samples are available after one week.


In general there are no complications to the examination, but if tissue samples has been taken  or  polyps remove, bleeding can occur. This bleeding will most often resolve on its own. In extremely rare cases, a perforation in the intestine can occur. In that case you will get pain and fever, and you must immediately contact the clinic, emergency doctor or emergency room.