The doctor looks at the lining of the lower part of your large bowel to see if there are any growths or disease.
This is done by putting an instrument called a sigmoidoscope into your back passage (anus). A sigmoidoscope is a short flexible tube with a bright light and tiny camera attached. Pictures of the inside of your bowel can be seen on a video screen.
You will lie on your side or back while your doctor slowly passes the sigmoidoscope along your large bowel to look at the inside lining. Some pressure, cramping or bloating might be felt during the procedure. Your doctor will examine the lining again as the sigmoidoscope is taken out.
The procedure itself usually takes anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes.
You should plan on two to three hours for waiting, preparation and recovery. This time also depends on whether you have had any sedation.
This procedure may or may not require a sedation anaesthetic.