• + 66 = 68
  • Highest level of surgical care for the south east of Melbourne
  • Comprehensive approach to the screening, prevention & management of breast cancer
  • Ensuring complete bowel health
  • Using state-of-the art techniques to ensure best outcomes at your utmost comfort
  • Surgical Management of Endocrine Disorders

Sigmoidoscopy and Proctoscopy

Sigmoidoscopy and proctoscopy are diagnostic procedures performed with lighted viewing tubes called scopes introduced through the anus to inspect the lower end of the large intestine (sigmoid colon) and the rectum (just above the anus) respectively. Each procedure uses a particular scope which permits the doctor to inspect for any signs of disease or abnormalities such as tumours, polyps, ulcers, haemorrhoids, inflammation or bleeding.

Sigmoidoscopy or proctoscopy is usually performed to investigate unexplained or persistent bleeding, diarrhoea or constipation. They may be also performed to screen for colon cancer or to monitor existing abnormalities or assess treatment.

Before performing these procedures, your bowels are evacuated with the help of an enema or laxative to provide a clear unobstructed view. The procedures may be performed under mild sedation while lying on your left side or kneeling down. You may experience some discomfort or an urge to pass stool or gas with the procedures. During a proctoscopy, your doctor introduces a lubricated scope about 10 to 12 inches long through the anus to examine the inside of the rectum and the end of the colon. During a sigmoidoscopy, a longer lighted tube called a sigmoidoscope is carefully guided to the sigmoid colon. The lens and light system of the sigmoidoscope allows it to be flexible and provides your doctor with a clear view even around bends in the intestine. To further improve visibility, the intestine may be suctioned or filled with air. Tissue samples may be obtained (biopsy) or small growths removed with the help of tiny instruments passed through the scope. A local anaesthetic is usually administered when a biopsy is done. Sigmoidoscopy or proctoscopy usually takes about 5-15 minutes.

As with any invasive procedure, sigmoidoscopy or proctoscopy may be associated with certain complications such as pain, bleeding or infection, and perforation of the rectum or colon.

Conditions and Management

Investigative Procedures

Useful Links

  • Jessie McPherson Private Hospital
  • MonashHealth
  • St John of God Health Care
  • Monash University
  • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
  • Valley Private Hospital
  • West Gippsland Healthcare Group