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What is a flexible sigmoidoscopy?

Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a way of looking at the lower part of your colon (large bowel) and rectum. The procedure is carried out by someone with special training called an endoscopist. It will take place in a specially designed department called the endoscopy unit.

The endoscopist uses a colonoscope which is a long, slim, flexible instrument. It has a bright light and small lens at its tip. The colonoscope allows the endoscopist to view the inside of your colon and rectum on a video monitor.

The endoscopist can pass a smaller instrument down the colonoscope so that he can take a small sample of your tissue (biopsy) or remove small growths (polyps) from the wall of your colon. This part of the procedure is painless. It is an important part of assessing your condition.

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