A flexible sigmoidoscopy is a procedure used to learn the origins of unexplained symptoms such as anal bleeding, changes in bowel activity, abdominal pain, and weight loss. It is also a way that physicians can screen for colon and rectal cancer.
The procedure involves the insertion of a sigmoidoscope, a thin, flexible, lighted tube, into the rectum. This will help the physician visualize the inner lining of rectum and lower part of the colon. The patient receives medicine to help him or her relax throughout the procedure.
In the event that abnormalities are found during the sigmoidoscopy, patients should have a colonoscopy to examine the remainder of the colon.
The rectum and lower portion of the colon must be empty when the procedure is performed. Preparation for a sigmoidoscopy involves beginning a low-fiber diet several days before the procedure. Patients will receive specific instructions about use of enemas and patient medications.
Patients must make arrangements for someone to drive them home after the procedure.
Note: This information shouldn’t take the place of a physician’s care. Please see your physician or Dr. Suman Kaur of Digestive Disease Associates with any questions or concerns — or to schedule a procedure — at (630) 325-4255.