Colorectal cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the world, and also one that is treatable with early detection. At Gastro Office in Hilliard, Ohio, gastroenterologists Dr. Krishna Rayapudi and Dr. Rohan Modi provide diagnostic testing with a procedure called a sigmoidoscopy. This test helps him give you an accurate diagnosis. Call the office or make an appointment online to learn how a sigmoidoscopy can help detect colorectal cancer.
A sigmoidoscopy is a test that allows Dr. Rayapudi to examine the inside of your colon and your rectum carefully so that he can screen for polyps or other problems.
A sigmoidoscopy uses a thin, lighted tube to examine the lower part of your colon: the sigmoid colon. Unlike a colonoscopy, in which Dr. Rayapudi examines your entire colon, a sigmoidoscopy focuses on the lowest section.
With a sigmoidoscopy, Dr. Rayapudi can look for polyps and ulcers, as well as abnormal cells that may lead to cancer. Typically, during the test, he may remove some of the cells from inside your colon for further examination.
Symptoms that may warrant the need for a sigmoidoscopy include:
Additionally, if you have a family history of colon cancer or other rectal problems, Dr. Rayapudi may recommend a sigmoidoscopy. Or, if you’re 50 or older, and have no risk factors for colon cancer, a sigmoidoscopy may be the screening exam he suggests every five years instead of a colonoscopy.
Before you come to the office for a sigmoidoscopy, you have to prepare for it by cleansing your colon. The team provides you with instructions regarding what you can and can’t eat, any laxatives or enemas you need to use, and what to do just before the test. Typically, you won’t eat any solid foods the day before, but you’ll drink clear liquids.
During the exam, you lie on your side on an exam table, and Dr. Rayapudi inserts the sigmoidoscope into your rectum. It’s not painful, but it can be uncomfortable. You may request a mild sedative if you have concerns about relaxing during the procedure.
The sigmoidoscope has a light, a tiny camera, and a tube so Dr. Rayapudi can closely examine the inside of your colon. To expand your colon, he may pump air through the tube to inflate your colon for a better view of the interior lining. During the exam, he may take tissue samples to screen for cancer.
The sigmoidoscopy procedure usually takes about 15 minutes, and afterward, if you haven’t had a sedative, you can drive yourself home. You can expect to feel some discomfort in your abdomen, including bloating and cramping, but this should resolve itself.
If you have a family history of colon cancer or symptoms that persist, call the office or make an appointment online.