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Surg Endosc. 1999 Aug;13(8):814-6.

Rigid videosigmoidoscopy vs conventional sigmoidoscopy. A randomized controlled study.

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Academic Surgical Unit, 10th Floor, QEQM Wing, Saint Mary's Hospital, South Wharf Road, London W2 1NY, UK.



Not only is rigid sigmoidoscopy uncomfortable for patients, but visualisation of the rectosigmoid junction and sigmoid colon is successful in only 40-70% of examinations. A novel fine-bore rigid videosigmoidoscope is described and then compared with a rigid conventional sigmoidoscope for patient discomfort and length of insertion.


A total of 58 patients were examined with both sigmoidoscopes in a random order. Discomfort was scored on a visual analogue scale; length of insertion was scored by the surgeon. Patients were blinded to which sigmoidoscope was being used. The images from the video examination were transmitted in real time for a second opinion in a different hospital.


The mean (SD) insertion distance of the videosigmoidoscope was 23.2 (5.9) cm, which was significantly further than with the conventional sigmoidosocpe 16.5 (3.8) cm (p < 0.01). The discomfort on a visual analogue score for the videosigmoidoscope was 3.0 (1.8), which was significantly less than for the conventional sigmoidoscope 5.5 (2.7) (p < 0.01). The five users of the equipment (four surgeons and one colorectal nurse practitioner) preferred the videosigmoidoscope for image quality and ease of examination.


A thinner, longer, rigid videosigmoidoscope is a more effective means of looking at the proximal sigmoid colon. Despite being inserted further, it caused less discomfort than the conventional sigmoidoscope. High-quality video images can be recorded or transmitted for real-time teleconsultation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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