To assess the use of flexible sigmoidoscopy in Denmark in 1997.
A country wide questionnaire was mailed to all hospitals and specialists in surgery and gastroenterology.
The response rate was 96%. Thirteen thousand one hundred and eighty-one flexible sigmoidoscopies were done. However, this number was much too small in order to examine all persons with colonic symptoms. Two severe complications were reported.
A substantial extension of the flexible sigmoidoscopy service is needed to comply with the recommendations from the Danish National Board of Health to replace rigid proctoscopy with flexible sigmoidoscopy in the diagnostic strategy.