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Sigmoidoscopy examination

Access a private sigmoidoscopy through Bupa on Demand and pay as you go for consultations, diagnostics tests and treatments with no insurance needed.

If you’ve been experiencing pain or bleeding from the rectum, a sigmoidoscopy is a quick rectal examination that can be used to look for inflammation of the lower colon or for the presence of bowel cancer.

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Test tube and pipette

What happens during a sigmoidoscopy?

You’ll be asked to lie on your left-hand side with your legs bent so your doctor can gently examine your rectum by inserting a finger. They’ll then carefully insert the sigmoidoscope into your rectum, using a lubricating jelly to make this as comfortable as possible.

Air will be pumped through the sigmoidoscope into your lower bowel so it's easier for your doctor to see your bowel wall. This may cause stomach cramps or give you the feeling of needing to go to the toilet or pass wind.

Your doctor will then examine images from inside your bowel via a camera at the end of the sigmoidoscope. If necessary, your doctor can take a biopsy or remove any polyps you have, using special instruments that are passed inside the sigmoidoscope.

Carrying out sigmoidoscopy exams

A flexible sigmoidoscopy usually takes between 10 and 20 minutes but you’ll probably be in hospital for one to two hours in total. The procedure may be uncomfortable, but shouldn't be painful.

All of our patients undergoing sigmoidoscopy receive an aftercare package. This includes a follow-up appointment with a consultant, as well as readmission into hospital within 30 days of the initial procedure, should it be needed.

In the unlikely event of any complications arising from your procedure, the cost of additional treatment required may also be covered subject to the terms and conditions of the package that you choose.

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Bupa On Demand is provided by Bupa Insurance Services Limited. Registered in England and Wales No. 3829851. Registered office: 1 Angel Court, London, EC2R 7HJ.

Bupa Health Assessments are provided by Bupa Occupational Health Limited. Registered in England and Wales No. 631336. Registered office: 1 Angel Court, London, EC2R 7HJ.

Bupa health insurance and cash plan are provided by Bupa Insurance Limited. Registered in England and Wales No. 3956433. Bupa Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Arranged and administered by Bupa Insurance Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales No. 3829851. Registered office: 1 Angel Court, London, EC2R 7HJ.
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