Rigid Sigmoidoscopy and Proctoscopy

Rigid sigmoidoscopy is an examination of the lower part of the bowel with a narrow tube with an incorporated light source. The tube is passed into the anus and allows the consultant to inspect the rectum.

Proctoscopy is more limited in range than rigid sigmoidoscopy as the scope is shorter. It is used to look at the lowest part of the rectum, and is useful for examining haemorrhoids or mucosal prolapse.

Both are done in clinic, often at your first appointment. You will be asked to lie on your side on an examination couch with your knees bent whilst the examination takes place. Both take less than 5 minutes to complete and neither require any preparation - an enema is not normally given. Both of these examinations are usually painless.

Please be cautious if searching these terms on the internet as American websites do not use the same terminology.