A sigmoidoscopy is the best procedure for seeing inside the sigmoid colon. A sigmoidoscopy is similar to a colonoscopy, but it only examines the lower end of the large intestine. A colonoscopy examines the whole colon. Sigmoidoscopies are done when you are experiencing symptoms of rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, and overall bowel changes. A sigmoidoscopy also looks at the rectum. The procedure requires the use of a sigmoidoscope. The tool is placed through the rectum into the intestine, and the doctor can get a clear picture of what is casing your symptoms. Sigmoidoscopy may be uncomfortable, but it is a life-saving procedure.
The colon is susceptible to cysts, polyps, inflammation and some other conditions. The colon has four segments: ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, and sigmoid colon. The colon is responsible for absorbing nutrients necessary for the body from the food you eat. Once all the nutrients are absorbed, the rest becomes waste, or what we know as fecal matter. The last part of the colon called the sigmoid colon connects the descending colon to the rectum. The sigmoid colon is pretty much the part where the colon curves. The sigmoid colon is susceptible to many different diseases, especially diverticula. The sigmoid colon is the narrowest part of the colon. Based on its location, it takes on a lot of pressure and stress.
The sigmoid colon is typically looked at when you are suffering from conditions like diverticulitis, swelling, rectal bleeding, and polyps. A sigmoidoscopy is not usually performed until you turn fifty. At that age, you are more susceptible to colon and rectal cancer. There is not a whole lot of preparation for a sigmoidoscopy. Mental preparation may be more important than the actual physical preparation. Unlike a colonoscopy, you will not have to fast. You will have to clean out the colon, but the method is much easier.
There is no real preparation for a sigmoidoscopy. The only thing the doctor will give you is an enema. You will get two of them. It is important to keep each enema in you for at least five minutes before you go to the bathroom. The test is only about 20 minutes. There is no need for sedation at all. The procedure is quick and fairly painless. Before the procedure, the doctor will have you lie on your side and bring your knees to your chest. The rectum must be exposed so they can insert the sigmoidoscope. Before adding the sigmoidoscope, the doctor inserts their finger to check for the purpose of dilating the anal cavity and checking for blockage before the tool is inserted. Now the sigmoidoscope is ready for insertion. The sigmoidoscope is flexible, which makes it easier for travel through the colon, especially the sigmoid colon. The sigmoid is shaped like an S so it important for the tool to be flexible. The sigmoidoscope also has a camera on the end of it which allows the doctor to see inside the colon and rectum. Air is inserted into the colon to expand it. The sigmoidoscope is inserted slowly. You may feel the urge to go to the bathroom so there will also be a suction used to clean out any fluids that flow into the colon. You may also feel some discomfort from cramping. Once the procedure is over, they take the sigmoidoscope out.
After the procedure, your doctor will go over all the results. If everything is normal, you will not have to take any more steps. Abnormal results mean there may be polyps, fissures, inflammation, or bleeding. The doctor will also diagnose cancer, abscesses, and hemorrhoids. Any polyps or tumors will be sent for biopsy. The results may take a while, but once they come back, the doctor will call you. Diverticulosis is a common condition in the sigmoid colon. This procedure can also be used to diagnose this. Sometimes follow-up procedures like a colonoscopy are necessary to get a better look of the whole colon. Sigmoidoscopy can really save your life. After a sigmoidoscopy, you can return to your normal daily activities. Since you are not under any sedation, you will not have a problem driving home. There are some risks with the procedure. It is possible for the sigmoidoscope to poke the colon and cause bleeding. It is rare that you get a colon puncture from this procedure, but if it does happen, the doctor will be able to treat it.
Sigmoidoscopies are not as familiar to people as colonoscopies are, but they are great for preventing more serious health problems. The sigmoidoscope is a shorter tool because it only travels to the sigmoid colon which is the lower part of the intestine. A sigmoidoscopy is not for the purpose of viewing the whole. Sometimes the doctor just wants to examine the end of the intestine and the rectum. It is important to have this test because it can save your life. If you are in your 50s, do not neglect to have this test. You may not feel like anything is wrong, but it is always best to be safe than sorry.
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