Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

What is a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy?

  • A procedure used to view the lower colon.
  • A flexible tube about the size of your index finger is inserted into the anus and is advanced slowly into the rectum and lower part of the colon.

What will the procedure show?

  • It can help find the source of abdominal pain, bleeding, and changes in bowel habits.

Before the test

  • You must completely empty your bowels.
  • This is done at home before coming to your appointment.
  • You must give yourself 2 FLEETS ENEMAS rectally 2 HOURS BEFORE your appointment time (Give yourself one enema and hold it for 10 minutes, then wait 30 minutes and give yourself the second enema and hold that one for 10 minutes)
  • You may eat a light breakfast/lunch the day of your test

What happens during the flexible sigmoidoscopy

  • You will undress from the waist down and put on a hospital gown.
  • You will be told about the test and be asked to sign a consent form. Feel free to ask questions.
  • You will lie on your left side.
  • The doctor will perform a digital rectal exam to check for anal and rectal problems.
  • The rectum is lubricated and the scope is inserted.
  • You may have a feeling similar to needing to have a bowel movement.
  • You may also feel pressure when air is pumped into the colon.

How long will the test take?

  • 15 to 30 minutes

After the test

  • You may have some mild cramping or a bloating sensation.
  • This will disappear quickly when you pass gas.
  • You may return to normal activities after leaving the hospital.