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Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy (SIG-moy-DAH-skuh-pee) enables the physician to look at the inside of the large intestine from the rectum through the last part of the colon, called the sigmoid colon. Physicians may use this procedure to find the cause of diarrhea, abdominal pain, or constipation. They also use sigmoidoscopy to look for early signs of cancer in the colon and rectum. With sigmoidoscopy, the physician can see bleeding, inflammation, abnormal growths, and ulcers.

 

 

The Sigmoidoscopy Procedure

During the procedure you will lie on your left side on the examining table.

  1. The physician will insert a short, flexible, lighted tube into the rectum.
  2. The tube, called a sigmoidoscope (sig-MOY-duh-skope), is slowly guided through the colon.
  3. The physician places air through the sigmoidoscope, which opens the folds of the colon and helps the physician see better.
  4. Images of the inside of the colon and rectum are transmitted to a monitor allowing for thorough examination of both organs.
Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

Preparing for Your Appointment

Before your appointment please check in with the receptionist at the location indicated in your pamphlet. You will be asked to change into a patient gown and to discuss your medical history. At this point it is important that you inform the nurse if you are allergic to any medications. After taking your vitals, the nurse will ask you to sign a consent form authorizing the physician to perform the procedure.

 

After Your Appointment

Patients may experience minor bloating due to the air inserted during the procedure however as air is expelled this feeling will fade. Preliminary findings will be discussed with you immediately following the procedure and a full report will be sent to your personal physician.

After leaving the outpatient center or hospital, you may eat and resume normal activities, as you feel able unless you are instructed otherwise.

Walking, a warm bath, drinking warm fluids, or lying on your left side with knees drawn up will help you to pass any remaining air in your colon.

 

Results

Biopsy results are usually available in 7-10 working days. At discharge you will be told how you will receive your results. Your personal physician will also receive a report from the laboratory.