Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

A flexible sigmoidoscopy as an examination of the rectum and lower part of the colon. A small fiberoptic tube was inserted to visualize the lining of the rectum and colon.

Reasons for Sigmoidoscopy

Before the exam, you will need to use a laxative to cleanse your system. The colon needs to be completely empty to allow your doctor to get a clearer picture of what is happening during the procedure. The tube serves many purposes throughout the examination. It contains a light for your provider to see, a camera to record images, and is hollow to pump air into your colon. Your provider can take biopsies (or tissue samples) if needed for further study.

Why Get a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

When you are experiencing discomfort or problems with your bowels your provider might recommend a flexible sigmoidoscopy. Some of the issues could include but are not limited to are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Change in bowel habits
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Screen for polyps
  • Screen for colon cancer

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Procedure

The exam is relatively short and usually takes somewhere around 15 minutes. Most patients find that they experience mild pressure from the air introduced into the abdomen. Some patients also notice a small amount of blood which is not alarming, but you should consult your care team if you experience large clots or have a fever.

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