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A sigmoidoscopy is a test that lets your doctor look inside the lower part of your colon. The doctor uses a lighted tube called a sigmoidoscope to look for any problems. These include small growths called polyps. They also include cancer, bleeding, and hemorrhoids.
During the test, the doctor can take samples of tissue that can be checked for cancer or other problems. This is called a biopsy. The doctor can also take out polyps.
Before the test, you will need to stop eating solid foods. You also will have an enema or take laxatives to empty your lower colon. This helps your doctor to see inside your colon during the test.
The preparation for these tests usually involves a thorough cleaning of the lower colon. It must be completely clear of stool (feces). Even a small amount of stool can affect the accuracy of the test.
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Adaptation Date: 2/13/2023
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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