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Difference between Sigmoidoscopy and Colonoscopy

Difference between Sigmoidoscopy and Colonoscopy

When it comes to screening for colorectal cancer, there are a few common methods that people often think of. Two such methods are the sigmoidoscopy and the colonoscopy. But what is the difference between these two procedures? Which one is better? In this blog post, we will explore the difference between sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy, as well as provide an overview of each procedure. We hope that this information will help you make an informed decision about which screening method is best for you.

What is Sigmoidoscopy?

  • Sigmoidoscopy is a medical procedure used to examine the lower part of the large intestine, also known as the colon. The colon is made up of two sections: the ascending colon, which extends from the rectum to the cecum; and the descending colon, which extends from the cecum to the rectum.
  • Sigmoidoscopy allows doctors to directly visualize the inside of the descending colon and diagnose any abnormalities that may be present. The procedure is performed using a thin, flexible tube-like instrument called a sigmoidoscope, which is inserted into the rectum through the anus.
  • Once in place, the sigmoidoscope is used to inflate the colon with air, which makes it easier to see. Sigmoidoscopy is generally considered to be a safe and well-tolerated procedure with minimal risks. It is often used as a screening tool for colorectal cancer, as it can help to detect early signs of disease.

What is Colonoscopy?

  • A colonoscopy is a medical procedure used to examine the large intestine (colon) and rectum for signs of disease. It may also be used to screen for colorectal cancer. Colonoscopy can be both diagnostic (if a disease is suspected) and preventive (if no disease is suspected but the individual is at risk for developing colorectal cancer).
  • A colonoscopy is performed with a long, flexible tube called a colonoscope. The Colonoscope has a light and camera on one end, which allows the doctor to see inside the colon and take pictures or remove tissue samples (biopsies) if necessary.
  • Colonoscopy is generally safe and well-tolerated, although there are some risks associated with the procedure. These include bleeding, perforation of the colon, and reaction to the sedative medication used during the procedure. A colonoscopy is an important tool in the early detection and treatment of colorectal cancer, as well as other diseases of the colon and rectum.

Difference between Sigmoidoscopy and Colonoscopy

Sigmoidoscopy is a medical procedure in which a doctor inserts a small, flexible camera into the patient’s rectum and Sigmoid colon. This allows the doctor to look for abnormal growths, polyps, or other abnormalities. A colonoscopy is similar to a Sigmoidoscopy, but the camera is inserted into the patient’s entire colon, not just the Sigmoid colon. This allows the doctor to get a more complete picture of the colon’s condition. Both procedures are used to diagnose and treat conditions of the colon, such as colorectal cancer.


The main difference is that a sigmoidoscopy only examines the last 60 cm of the large intestine (colon), whereas a colonoscopy examines the entire length of the large intestine. A sigmoidoscopy is also less invasive than a colonoscopy and can be done using an ordinary endoscope. If you are experiencing any symptoms that might suggest you have bowel cancer, it’s important to see your doctor for advice about which type of examination is most appropriate for you.

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