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Sigmoidoscopy or Colonoscopy

This investigation is designed to examine the inside lining of the bowel and involves the use of a small flexible tube with a light and a camera at the end that is inserted into the backside. This test will help the physician identify any inflamed tissue, ulcers, bleeding or abnormal growths. He or she may also take samples looking for microscopic disease. If samples (called biopsies) are taken, these can take a few days to return a result as they need to be processed by a laboratory.Before the procedure, you will need to consume a laxative liquid or tablets. This will completely empty out all waste material from your bowels, allowing for a safe and thorough examination.

On the day of the procedure you will be intravenously administered a relaxant to make you sleepy. Whilst in this state you will be placed on a flat surface in the examination room. The scope will be slowly inserted into your rectum and into your colon. The scope inflates the large intestine with air or carbon dioxide gas to give the doctor a better view. As the scope is passed through you the images from the camera will be relayed to a monitor for observation.

The colonoscopy typically takes about 30 minutes with 1-4 hours recovery time.

After the procedure you may feel a bit drowsy and will be kept in hospital for a short while until the medications wear off. You must have someone with you for that whole day and you must not sign important documents or operate heavy machinery.


If you are interested in other gastrointestinal-focused information and intervention websites developed and hosted at
Swinburne University of Technology,
please go to:

IBDclinic.org.au for individuals with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Gastroparesisclinic.org for individuals with Gastroparesis


This website and its content is not intended or recommended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek advice of your own physician or other qualified health care professional regarding any medical questions or conditions.

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