Flexible Sigmoidoscopy is a procedure in which a flexible lighted tube is passed through the anus into the rectum and lower part of the large bowel (colon) for direct examination.
What To Expect:
Flexible sigmoidoscopy is well tolerated and rarely causes much discomfort. There is often a feeling of pressure, bloating, or cramping at times during the procedure. You will be lying on your side or back while the scope is advanced slowly through the lower portion of the large intestine (colon). The scope is then slowly withdrawn and the lining of the intestine is examined. The procedure usually takes about 5-10 minutes. If the scope shows something abnormal the physician may take a biopsy specimen. Remember that biopsies are taken for many reasons and do not necessarily mean cancer is expected.
The lower part of the colon must be completely clean for the procedure to be accurate and complete. Your physician will give you detailed instructions about diet and the cleansing routine to be used. This usually consists of a laxative and enemas. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully, or the examination may need to be repeated. You will also need to refrain from taking any blood thinners or any medication containing aspirin or ibuprofen for 5 days before your procedure.