Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

To evaluate your lower colon (large bowel, large intestine), your doctor may perform a flexible sigmoidoscopy. This examination allows your doctor to view the inner lining of your rectum and last few feet of large bowel.

After your initial office visit, you will be given instructions on how to cleanse your bowels with laxatives and enemas. After reviewing the risks, benefits, and alternatives of the test, you will be asked to sign a consent form.

As you lay on your left side, the doctor will gently insert a thin, flexible tube with a miniature camera into the rectum and advance it through the lower part of the colon. Air is introduced during the procedure to distend the bowel and allow careful inspection of the surface.

As needed, a biopsy (removal of a tiny bit of tissue) or polypectomy (removal of a polyp) will be performed and the tissue sent to a pathologist for microscopic examination. You will not feel any discomfort when the biopsy or polypectomy is performed.

Before you leave the endoscopy center, your doctor will discuss the procedure findings with you, and provide further instructions. Our nursing staff will provide you with a written copy of the findings and instructions, as well as handouts on appropriate topics. You may feel mild bloating and cramping after the test, but that will subside as you eliminate the air introduced during the procedure. Your primary doctor will also receive a report of your procedure.

Day of test:

Drink only clear liquids for breakfast and lunch. Solid
foods, milk or milk products are not allowed.  
Clear liquids include:

  • Strained fruit juices without pulp
    (apple, white grape, white cranberry, lemonade)
  • Water
  • Clear chicken or beef broth or bouillon
  • Coffee or tea (without milk or non-dairy creamer)

All of the following that are not colored red or purple:

  • Gatorade
  • Carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks
  • Kool-aid (or other fruit flavored drinks)
  • Plain Jell-O (without added fruits or toppings)
  • Ice Popsicle or sorbet

Purchase two (2) Fleets enemas (green and white box) at the pharmacy, and use first (according to instructions on box) 2 hours prior to your procedure.  Do second enema 30 min. after the first.