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What Is A Flexible Sigmoidoscopy?


A Flexible Sigmoidoscopy is an exam to evaluate your lower colon and rectum. In this exam your colon is cleansed and a short fiberoptic tube is inserted through your rectum and into your colon. The fiberoptic scope (endoscope) is a short bundle of enclosed flexible small glass fibers. It lights up the area examined and allows your doctor to see the inside of your colon and rectum. Discomfort is usually minimal. Sedatives and pain medications are generally not required. This exam helps to detect tumors (cancers), polyps (colonic growths), inflammation (colitis), areas of bleeding (such as Diverticulosis), and any other abnormalities. Your doctor may also take small pieces of tissue (biopsy) to examine under a microscope in the lab.

Before The Procedure:


  • A clear fluid diet is required the day before your exam (starting after breakfast)

  • Drink plenty of fluids all day before your exam

  • Laxatives will be required in the evening before your exam

  • Liquid injections (enemas) will be required in the morning before your exam


After The Procedure:

  • If you are getting sedation (as per your doctor or personal preference), you must bring someone with you to drive you home, as you will Not be allowed to drive for 24 hours after the procedure

  • You may experience some cramping, gas, bloating, or a “full feeling”. You will pass the gas over the next several hours

  • You must NOT drive on the day of the procedure. Please arrange for someone to drive you home after the exam

  • Follow your doctor’s specific instructions concerning treatment and follow-up care. Contact us if you have any questions


Notify your doctor immediately or go to the nearest Emergency Room if you experience any of the following:


  • Severe or persistent abdominal pain

  • Fever and/or vomiting

  • Persistent or large amounts of blood in your stool


Note: A small amount of rectal bleeding may be normal, especially following polypectomy or hemorrhoid treatment.
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