How The Procedure Of Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Is Performed

Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a technique that’s practiced to look inside the lower part of the large intestine. It can be used to analyze the bowel for signs of cancer, to examine indications of bleeding, and to check the condition of the bowel. It can also be used to find and eliminate polyps or growths in the bowel.

Let’s learn more about flexible sigmoidoscopy:


What are the reasons to perform flexible sigmoidoscopy?

An individual should consult the doctor if he/she notices:

  • alterations in the bowel habits
  • rectal bleeding
  • abdominal pain
  • inexplicable weight loss

These can be the signs and symptoms of different colon diseases and flexible sigmoidoscopy helps to diagnose the underlying cause of these symptoms.


structure of colon


How to prepare for flexible sigmoidoscopy?

Flexible sigmoidoscopy preparation is comparable to colonoscopy prep.

Before the procedure, the patient will be expected to use one or more enemas around two hours.

If it is needed that the entire colon is empty, flexible sigmoidoscopy prep is even more similar to the colonoscopy prep. It includes:

  • the patient follows a clear liquid diet for 1 to 3 days before the procedure,
  • the patient may also be given a powder laxative that is mixed with the fluid. It helps to empty the intestines,
  • the patient may not be able to eat or drink anything after midnight the evening before the exam.

The patient can consume these liquids:

  • water
  • Plain tea or coffee without milk or cream
  • fat-free soup
  • jelly or gelatin
  • sports beverages with electrolytes

The patient should avoid any liquid with purple or red dye because it may look like blood in the colon.

Before the sigmoid test begins, the patient should tell the doctor about any medical problem he/she has and all the medicines and supplements he/she is taking at least one week before the exam. Telling the doctor about medications and conditions becomes more imperative if the patient has diabetes if the medications or supplements are of iron if the patient is taking blood thinners or aspirin. The patient should carefully follow the directions of the doctor.


How the procedure of flexible sigmoidoscopy is performed?

The sigmoidoscope covers a light and a tube that lets the doctor pump air into the colon. The air expands the colon, which delivers an improved view of the colon lining. When the scope is moved or air is hosted, the patient may feel abdominal constricting or the need to move the bowels.

The sigmoidoscope also comprises a tiny video camera at its tip. The camera shows images to an exterior monitor so that the gastroenterologist can study the inside of the colon. The doctor can do insertion instruments over the channel to take tissue samples.

The sigmoidoscopy procedure typically takes around 10 to 20 minutes. It may need somewhat more time if biopsies are taken. Sedation and pain medicines typically aren’t required. If a polyp is found, the doctor will likely endorse a full colonoscopy to look at the entire colon.


colon diseases


What to expect after the procedure?

After the examination, the patient may have slight abdominal uneasiness. The patient may feel bloated or pass gas for a few times as to clear the air commencing the colon. Ambulatory may help dismiss any discomfort. The patient should be able to return to a normal diet and routine activities right away.

The patient may also notice a minor amount of blood with the first bowel movement after the test, which typically does not cause for alarm. Immediately refer to the doctor if there is continuous bleeding or if there is insistent abdominal pain or a fever.


What are the results of the procedure?

The doctor will evaluate the results of the flexible sigmoidoscopy exam and then discuss the results with the patient.

Negative result: A flexible sigmoidoscopy exam is measured negative if the doctor doesn’t find any irregularities in the colon. If you’re at middling risk of colon cancer — you have no colon cancer risk influences other than age — your doctor may endorse for the future five years and then repeating the exam.

Positive result: A flexible sigmoidoscopy exam is concluded positively if the doctor discovers polyps or abnormal condition in the colon. Depending on the conclusions, you may require extra testing — such as a colonoscopy — so that any anomalies can be inspected more methodically, biopsied or detached. During a colonoscopy, the doctor can also monitor the entire colon for other abnormalities.


What are the benefits of flexible sigmoidoscopy?

Flexible sigmoidoscopy lets the doctor see inside the bowel evidently so that signs of cancer or polyps can be perceived. It has been found to help decrease the number of individuals dying from bowel cancer.

The patients don’t need an anesthesia or sedative for flexible sigmoidoscopy and it’s typically painless.

If the doctor finds any polyps during the test, they may be removed at that time.


flexible sigmoidoscope


Are there any risks or complications of flexible sigmoidoscopy?

The risks of the procedure comprise impairment to the colon by the tube, hemorrhage, stomach pain, and infection.

The patient should inform the doctor if he/she experiences:

  • severe stomach pain,
  • nausea,
  • substantial bleeding after a sigmoidoscopy.

The doctor may instruct the patient to go to the hospital’s emergency department if he/she experiences prevalent abdominal pain, nausea, or heavy bleeding after a sigmoidoscopy.


Visit GI Endoscopy Practice for Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Exam:

If you’re looking for experienced, skilled, and American board-certified gastroenterologists to perform the flexible sigmoidoscopy, you can consult Dr. Bharat Dasani and his team at GI Endoscopy Practice who are the best medical professionals in NJ. They perform the exam in the best manner effectively and efficiently keeping in view the condition and needs of an individual patient. You can book an online appointment by visiting our website or simply call at 973-248-1550



*** Disclaimer: The material presented in this article is only for informational/educational purposes and doesn’t constitute any medical or professional advice. Please consult the healthcare professional if you have any health concerns. ***   

Recent Posts