A procedure that allows your physician to examine the lining of the rectum and a portion of the colon for abnormal growths or tissue.
What is flexible sigmoidoscopy?
Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a procedure that allows your physician to examine the lining of the rectum and a portion of the colon for abnormal growths or tissue. During this procedure, the doctor inserts a flexible, hollow tube called a sigmoidoscope into the anus and advances it slowly into the rectum and lower colon. If abnormal tissue is found, the doctor may remove a sample for further examination or biopsy.
What should I expect during a flexible sigmoidoscopy?
Plan to spend up to 1½ hours at the endoscopy center the day of your procedure. The procedure itself takes from 5 to 15 minutes to complete. Pain medication and/or sedatives are not generally needed for this procedure.
Before the Procedure:
Your medical history will be reviewed with you by your health care team including a nurse and your gastroenterology physician.
During the Procedure:
If abnormal tissue or polyps are found, the physician may remove them through the scope for closer examination or biopsy.
What should I expect after a flexible sigmoidoscopy?
The physician will talk with you about the initial results of your procedure and will prepare a full report for the healthcare provider who referred you for the procedure. You may have some cramping or bloating after the procedure which is normal and should disappear quickly by passing gas. Any tissue samples or polyps removed during the procedure will be sent to a lab for evaluation. It may take 5-7 working days for you to be notified of the results by mail or through the Patient Portal.
What are the possible complications with flexible sigmoidoscopy?
Although serious complications are rare, any medical procedure has the potential for risks. Risks from the procedure include perforation, or a tear through the lining of the colon, bleeding from a biopsy site, heart and lung problems, and eye injuries.