Why would someone get a sigmoidoscopy over a colonoscopy?

This question was asked in Irvine, California on 01/31/2012.
I want to have my colon screened, however, I don't want to be sedated. Would a sigmoidoscopy be the right procedure for me?

Doctors Answers (3)

Shahram Javaheri, M.D.
Answered on: 2/3/2012 1

A sigmoidoscopy does not require sedation and is still accepted for colorectal cancer screening. However, a sigmoidoscopy would only examine the left side of the colon (not the entire colon) and therefore polyps or cancers beyond the reach of a sigmoidoscope would be missed. The gold standard currently is a full colonoscopy.

David Myles Nolan
Answered on: 2/3/2012 1

A sigmoidoscopy can be done unsedated, but unfortunately you dont see the entire colon, and can miss right sided colon cancers, which are very prevalent. If you dont want sedation or cant have sedation, the more appropriate alternative may be a CT colonography.

Harsha Vittal, M.D.
Answered on: 2/2/2012 5

According to the guidelines, a sigmoidoscopy is adequate. However, it is clear that a colonoscopy is superior. If you are concerned about sedation, talk to your doctor about an unsedated colonoscopy