Your doctor has scheduled you to have a flexible sigmoidoscopy which is a diagnostic test that allows the doctor to directly examine the rectum and the area of the colon just above the rectum, the sigmoid colon with a flexible instrument called a sigmoidoscope. When performed by a specially trained physician, this is a safe and accurate way to determine the condition of your rectum and sigmoid colon.
After preparing for your sigmoidoscopy by cleansing your bowel, you will report to the designated area, as discussed by your physician.
Your sigmoidoscopy will be done in an outpatient examination area or in our office where a nurse will explain the procedure and give you an opportunity to ask questions.
You will be lying on your left side and after a rectal examination, your doctor will gently insert the sigmoidoscope into your rectum and guide it up into the sigmoid colon. The entire exam lasts a few minutes. You may feel some cramping during the exam. This is normal, as small amounts of air are inserted through the scope into your bowel to allow your doctor to see better.
It is important for you to let the doctor or nurse know if you have discomfort. By relaxing and taking slow deep breaths, the exam will be better tolerated.
Biopsies may be taken during the exam and therapies may be performed. You should not feel this.
After your sigmoidoscopy is completed, you will be asked to pass the air inserted and dress.
Before you are discharged, you will be given instructions regarding problems to be aware of after the procedure, results of the exam, treatment, diet, and follow up appointments if needed.
After your sigmoidoscopy, you should not expect to be uncomfortable but:
- You may have abdominal discomfort. This is most likely due to air put in during the exam and should not last long.
- If you experience these symptoms: persistent abdominal pain, abdominal bloating, rectal bleeding, fever, nausea, or vomiting - you should contact your doctor immediately.
Feel free to discuss these and other questions with the doctor or nurse before your examination. You may also call us at 845-331-8222.
Because the sigmoidoscopy involves looking inside of the intestine, body waste must be flushed out of your system so that your doctor can have a clear view. If your rectum and sigmoid colon are not completely clean, your doctor may not be able to complete the examination. Your cooperation is important.
PLEASE FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS: Your doctor is recommending the use of FLEET ENEMA (water retention - the green box) to cleanse the bowel because it is safe and effective. Please use 1 FLEET ENEMA one hour prior to your scheduled procedure time. Please follow instructions on the FLEET ENEMA box for use if needed.