A flexible sigmoidoscopy allows your doctor to look inside your rectum and lower part of your bowel. He or she will do this using a narrow, flexible, tube-like video camera called a sigmoidoscope.

If your consultant finds polyps during your flexible sigmoidoscopy, he or she may remove them or take a biopsy. A biopsy is a small sample of tissue. This will be sent to a laboratory for testing to determine the type of cells and if they are benign or malignant (cancerous).

A flexible sigmoidoscopy is very accurate at detecting polyps and cancer in certain areas of your bowel. There is evidence to show that using it for screening and polyp removal reduces the number of people who develop bowel cancer.

You may need a flexible sigmoidoscopy to find out what is causing symptoms such as:


  • Changes in bowel habits

  • Bleeding from your back passage

  • To check for inflammation

  • Early signs of cancer

  • Polyps

Why you

may need a


Preparing for your Sigmoidoscopy

We try to make your Sigmoidoscopy experience as easy and relaxed as possible. Here is a brief explanation of how you can prepare:

  • Stop taking any medication containing iron at least three days before the test.
  • Eat only a light evening meal on the day before the test and a light breakfast and lunch on the day of the test. It is essential that you administer the enema you have received two hours before leaving home for your appointment. This will ensure your lower bowel is empty and the test can be carried out effectively. Please see the patient information leaflet on enemas for more information.

Having your Sigmoidoscopy

You will be asked to change into a clinical gown before the test. Anesthetic is not necessary for a sigmoidoscopy. The test can be a little uncomfortable and patients often feel bloated, but these symptoms are not severe and quickly clear after the test. An experienced nurse will look after you throughout the test. She will ensure you are lying in the correct position and will also help the doctor. A long, smooth, flexible tube (approximately the thickness of a finger) will be inserted into the anus and advanced into the bowel. When indicated, biopsies (small tissue samples) are taken using tiny forceps. If the cause of symptoms is found to be haemorrhoids (piles) the doctor may offer to treat these by injection. This is not a painful procedure, though can cause mild discomfort. A sigmoidoscopy generally takes between 10 and 20 minutes. The doctor will give you a brief summary of the results before you leave. A full report will be sent to your GP or consultant, together with the results of any biopsies. Our experienced and caring medical staff will be there to help and support you every step of the way.

Still have questions about your procedure?

Visit our page for a full FAQ and walkthrough video regarding Endoscopy procedures

  • We are registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) - the independent regulator of health and social care in England. 

  • Free, on-site parking 

  • Clean, modern facilities with the latest technology

  • Easy access of the M62 and M1

  • You will only ever be seen for scans, tests and follow up appointments at the same site, unless you specify otherwise

  • All our treatments will not require an overnight stay. You will always recover from the comfort of your own home.

  • Your waiting time is much shorter than a regular hospital or NHS practice.

  • You will only ever be seen by a local consultant who is an expert in their field and also works within Leeds and Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals. 

  • Your aftercare will not stop when you leave our clinic. We're here to help every step of the way.




LivingCare have provided high quality, safe, consultant-led care to thousands of patients and has an excellent local and national reputation. We are recognised by all medical insurers and also welcome non insured patients who wish to self pay for their treatment. LivingCare have also been working with the NHS to provide care for patients since 2002. 

How can I be seen at

LivingCare for an NHS


At LivingCare we provide the following services for all NHS patients:

  • Gastroenterology

  • Gastroscopy

  • Sigmoidoscopy

  • Dermatology

  • Minor Surgery

  • Ear, Nose, Throat

  • Ophthalmology

  • Urology

  • Cystoscopy

  • Vasectomy

  • Ultrasound

To be seen through the NHS for any of the above services, we just require a referral from your GP. Alternatively, if you would prefer to be seen privately, please visit our private healthcare page here

Your Sigmoidoscopy appointment can be at any of the following sites:

Thorpe Park Clinic (Colton)

Northgate Medical Centre (Pontefract)

Fountain Medical Centre (Morley)

If you have already received an appointment from us and you wish to change

to a different site, you will need to call us on 0113 249 4655 to rearrange this. 

A new letter will be sent to you with appropriate directions and appointment 


Where can I

be seen for my Sigmoidoscopy


Contact us today. We'll be in touch within 24 hours.

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