What is a flexible sigmoidoscopy?
A flexible sigmoidoscope is a short flexible tube that is about the thickness of a finger. It is inserted into the rectum and into the large bowel and allows the doctor to carefully look at the lining of the lower bowel.
The doctor can pass an instrument through the scope and take a small piece of tissue (a biopsy) to be examined under a microscope. Biopsies are taken for many reasons and do not necessarily imply cancer.
What is a polypectomy?
During the course of the examination, a polyp may be found. Polyps are abnormal growths of tissue. If your doctor feels that removal of the polyp is needed, this can be done through the scope.
You should feel no pain during removal of the polyp. Polyps are usually removed because they can cause rectal bleeding or contain cancer. Although the majority of polyps are benign (non-cancerous), a small percentage may contain an area of cancer in them or may develop into cancer.