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A sigmoidoscopy lets your doctor look inside the lower part of your large intestine, or colon. The doctor uses a lighted tube called a sigmoidoscope (or scope).
This test allows the doctor to look for small growths (called polyps), cancer, bleeding, hemorrhoids, or other problems. The doctor also may have used the scope to remove polyps. Or they may have used it to take tissue samples that need to be tested.
You shouldn't have any pain after the procedure. But it is normal to pass gas. You may have mild discomfort from having gas.
If your doctor removed polyps, you will likely need to schedule a colonoscopy to look at the whole colon.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if you have any problems.
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Current as of: March 22, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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