Is a colonoscopy less risky than a sigmoidoscopy?

This question was asked in San Jose, California on 06/15/2012.
Is it true that colonoscopy is less risky than sigmoidoscopy? In what situation would a sigmoidoscopy be more appropriate to get for a patient than a regular colonoscopy?

Doctors Answers (2)

David Pound, M.D.
Answered on: 6/28/2012

A sigmoidoscopy is visualizes a smaller portion of the colon than a colonoscopy does. A complete colonoscopy looks at the entire large intestine. Which procedure would be best is dependent on what the patient symptom are.

Harsha Vittal, M.D.
Answered on: 6/19/2012

They carry the same risk. Colonoscopy is a better screening test and should be the test of choice.