Sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy, what is the difference

The main difference is a medical tool that provides different diagnostic capabilities. For the first procedure, a device with a length of 35 cm is used, so it is the least informative and allows you to consider a smaller area of ​​tissue. It brings less discomfort, does not cause pain and does not require anesthesia.

Both procedures relate to the methods of endoscopic examination, with which you can examine in detail the condition of the intestine from the inside. They have general indications and require similar preparation. Before carrying out both procedures, you should tell the doctor about the presence of any existing pathologies, taking medications, allergic reactions.

Despite the fact that both procedures involve an internal examination of the intestine and are somewhat similar to each other, they have significant differences. There is no single answer to the question which of them is better, since they pursue different goals.

The colonoscope, due to its flexibility, has free access to all parts of the intestine, which allows you to view the organ at a two-meter distance. This is a rather painful process, so taking painkillers or diving into sleep is required.

A very important advantage of colonoscopy is that when polyps and other problems are detected, therapeutic manipulations can be performed immediately.

The choice of a particular examination method depends on the person’s complaints. If it is necessary to clarify the stage of hemorrhoids, abdominal pain, persistent constipation, purulent discharge, then most likely the doctor will prescribe a sigmoidoscopy, since these problems indicate problems of the colon, which do not require a deeper immersion of the device. If the symptomatology is more complex and uncertain, then a colonoscopy will be required, giving more extensive information.

This does not mean that colonoscopy is better than sigmoidoscopy, they just have a different purpose and scope.

Pathologies of the colon and rectum can begin from a mild to life-threatening degree. Doctors are confident that early diagnosis and treatment of such diseases will help significantly reduce the risks of serious consequences. To do this, there are various research methods with which you can see the condition of the intestine from the inside. An important place in medical practice is sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy. This article will talk about the features of these procedures, and how they differ.

Characteristics of sigmoidoscopy

It is an endoscopic method for examining the rectum and final part of the colon, allowing you to diagnose the presence of neoplasms, inflammatory processes.

This procedure is carried out using a metal tool – a sigmoidoscope to identify the causes of the following symptoms:

  • Bleeding from the lower part of the colon.
  • Pain in the anus.
  • Frequent diarrhea, followed by constipation.
  • Pain in the abdomen.
  • Unreasonable weight loss.

In addition, it is carried out for preventive purposes, to exclude the development of diseases.

Before starting, the patient must tell the doctor about the drugs taken, the presence of chronic diseases and allergies.

This device is inserted into the anus, which allows you to assess the condition of the organs at a distance of 35 cm from the entrance. This procedure does not do any harm to the body, so there are practically no contraindications. Anyone can conduct it. The only exception may be the presence of acute inflammation of the posterior opening.

Before the examination, it is necessary to carry out special training, which must begin a few days before it begins. This is required in order for the verification to be as effective as possible. The most important condition is to follow a non-slag diet so that colon cleansing occurs. For this, all products that cause fermentation should be excluded from the diet – raw vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, brown bread, milk. Before the procedure, a cleansing enema or taking laxatives is performed.

The process itself is tolerated by patients quite calmly and takes a little time. Sometimes a biopsy is taken for further verification.

Colonoscopy Characterization

It is a procedure for examining the colon using a special device – a colonoscope equipped with a miniature camera and backlight. It allows you to see the presence of mucosal ulcers, hematomas, erosion, polyps, inflammation, as well as malignant tumors. Also during the procedure, polyps can be removed.

The picture is transmitted directly to the doctor’s monitor, which allows him to fully examine the entire state of the intestine for two meters. The camcorder allows you not only to transfer the image picture to the screen, but also to take a photo that can be expanded for a more detailed inspection.

The following indications for colonoscopy are distinguished:

  • Rapid abdominal pain.
  • Purulent discharge.
  • The presence of blood in the stool.
  • Disruption of the digestive tract.
  • Dramatic weight loss.
  • The feeling of the presence of a foreign body.
  • Suspected Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis.

Such an examination requires more thorough preparation, which must be started in three days. From the diet, it is necessary to exclude the same products as with the previous research method.

Since this is a rather painful process, most may need to take sedatives in order to enter into a medical sleep and not feel the ongoing manipulations. After the procedure, the person will need escort home. But first, he must wait a couple of hours, during which cramps, bloating can be observed. If sedation was present, then a person will be able to fully recover only the next day.

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