Your doctor will review the results of the flexible sigmoidoscopy exam and then share the results with you.

  • Negative result. A flexible sigmoidoscopy exam is considered negative if the doctor doesn't find any abnormalities in the colon. If you're at average risk of colon cancer — you have no colon cancer risk factors other than age — your doctor may recommend waiting five years and then repeating the exam.
  • Positive result. A flexible sigmoidoscopy exam is considered positive if the doctor finds polyps or abnormal tissue in the colon. Depending on the findings, you may need additional testing — such as a colonoscopy — so that any abnormalities can be examined more thoroughly, biopsied or removed. During colonoscopy, your doctor can also screen the entire colon for other abnormalities.

How much of your colon and rectum can be viewed during a flexible sigmoidoscopy depends on the experience of the doctor doing your exam and the success of the colon preparation. If your doctor is concerned about the quality of the view through the scope, he or she may recommend a repeat flexible sigmoidoscopy exam or another screening test.

July 15, 2014