Your body absorbs nutrients and water from the food you consume. This is possible with the help of your colon, the place where your stool is formed. The sigmoid colon is the last third of your descending colon. The rectum is connected to your anus by it. The doctors can examine the entire colon with the help of colonoscopy. There may be sometimes the need for close inspection of the sigmoid colon only. In these cases, the top gastro specialist in Kolkata suggests you go for sigmoidoscopy. The doctor uses a lighted tube to look inside your sigmoid colon for abnormal cells, ulcers, polyps and cancer. He/she will also collect some pieces of tissue and send them to check for abnormal cell changes.

Need for the procedure

If you notice the following changes, you should consult your doctor.

  • Rectal bleeding
  • Changes in your bowel habits
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Abdominal pain

A number of colon diseases can lead to these symptoms and the doctor can determine the cause of your symptoms with the help of sigmoidoscopy. This test also helps in colon cancer screening. After the age of 50, you may need to have a sigmoidoscopy at an interval of every five years if there is a history of colon cancer in your family.


At approximately two hours before the procedure, you need to use one or more enemas. You have to take only a liquid diet for a few days before the procedure. A gastro specialist in Kolkata may advise you to take some laxatives in order to completely empty your intestines. You can have the following liquids:

  • Fat-free broth
  • Plain tea or coffee
  • Water
  • Sports drinks with electrolytes
  • Gelatin

You should inform your gastroenterologist in Kolkata if you are taking any medicines and supplements.

The procedure

You will have to lie on an examination table on your left side during the procedure. The doctor will insert a sigmoidoscope into your anus. There are a light and a very small camera attached to the tube. The camera sends images to a monitor and the doctor can properly check the area for any abnormalities with the help of these images. It is also possible to inflate your colon with some air, which will make it easier for the doctor to examine the area.

There is normally very little pain during the procedure. You will also remain awake and the doctor may ask you to move at times to make the scope easier to move. The doctor can remove any polyps or growths if found. He/she may also remove pieces of tissue for further examination if there are abnormal areas in your colon. There are minimal risks in this procedure. The duration of it is normally 10 to 20 minutes.