What Is Flexible Sigmoidoscopy?
A flexible sigmoidoscopy is a procedure used to examine the lower part of the large intestine (colon). A thin, flexible tube (sigmoidoscope) is inserted through the rectum and into the colon. The sigmoidoscope is used to look for abnormal areas. A biopsy is often taken during a flexible sigmoidoscopy. A biopsy is a small piece of tissue that is removed and sent to a laboratory for testing. Flexible sigmoidoscopy is not used to screen for cancer of the entire colon. However, it can be used to find early signs of cancer in the lower part of the colon.
Why Would A Doctor Use Flexible Sigmoidoscopy?
A doctor may use flexible sigmoidoscopy to examine the lower third of the large intestine (colon) and the rectum. This procedure can help the doctor find the cause of bleeding, diarrhea, or constipation. It can also help the doctor find polyps, tumors, or other abnormal growths. A small, flexible, lighted tube is inserted through the rectum and into the lower third of the colon. The doctor then looks at the inside of the colon through the tube. A doctor may also use a sigmoidoscope to take a biopsy, which is a small sample of tissue. A biopsy can be used to check for cancer or other problems. The doctor may also use the sigmoidoscope to remove a polyp or growth.
What Is The Preparation For Flexible Sigmoidoscopy?
The preparation for a flexible sigmoidoscopy includes avoiding solid food and dairy products for 24 hours before the procedure. You will also need to take a laxative or enema the night before the procedure. The day of the procedure, you will need to arrive early to fill out paperwork. You will then be asked to undress and put on a gown. The procedure will be explained to you in detail and you will be given the opportunity to ask any questions. After the procedure is explained, the doctor will ask you to sign a consent form. Once you have signed the form, the doctor will begin the procedure.
How Is A Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Performed?
What Should I Expect After A Flexible Sigmoidoscopy?
A sigmoidoscopy is a medical procedure used to examine the lower part of the large intestine. It is usually performed to check for problems such as bleeding, inflammation, or polyps. After a sigmoidoscopy, you may feel a bit bloated from the air that was used to inflate your intestine during the procedure. This is not unusual and will likely pass within a day or two. You may also have some mild cramping. If you had sedation during the procedure, it may take a few hours for it to wear off. It is important to drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest after a sigmoidoscopy. You may be able to return to your normal activities the next day, but avoid strenuous activity for a day or two. Make sure you follow your doctor’s instructions.
What Are The Risks Of A Flexible Sigmoidoscopy?
A flexible sigmoidoscopy is generally a safe procedure. However, as with any medical procedure, there are potential risks and complications associated with a flexible sigmoidoscopy. These risks include:
- Perforation (tear) of the colon
- Reaction to the sedative medication
If you are scheduled to have a flexible sigmoidoscopy, your doctor will discuss the risks and potential complications of the procedure with you. You should also be aware that the procedure may not be able to detect all types of colorectal cancer, so it is important to continue to undergo regular screenings even after having a flexible sigmoidoscopy. Additionally, if you experience any abnormal symptoms, such as rectal bleeding, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible.
Most of the information on this page can be found at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diagnostic-tests/flexible-sigmoidoscopy