Sigmoidoscopy Procedures at Covenant Surgical Partners – Hawaii
What is flexible sigmoidoscopy?
Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a procedure that allows your doctor to examine the rectum and the lower (sigmoid) colon. The flexible sigmoidoscope is a flexible tube 60 cm long and about the thickness of your little finger. It is inserted gently into the anus and advanced slowly into the rectum and the lower colon. It is an accurate and simple method of investigating the cause of rectal bleeding, change in bowel habit, and rectal symptoms such as pain and diarrhea. Flexible sigmoidoscopy also is a part of colon screening and surveillance for colon cancer.
What can I expect during flexible sigmoidoscopy?
Flexible sigmoidoscopy is generally well tolerated and rarely causes any significant pain. There may be a sensation of fullness, bloating, pressure, or cramping during the procedure. In most instances, you will be lying on your left side while the instrument is advanced through the rectum and the colon under direct vision on a TV monitor. As the instrument is withdrawn, a careful examination is made of the lining of the colon. The procedure usually takes only 5 to 15 minutes.
What happens after the flexible sigmoidoscopy?
After the procedure, the examiner will explain the findings to you. You may have some residual cramping or bloating because of the air that was instilled into your colon during the procedure. This should quickly disappear with the passage of gas or flatus. It can be expedited by walking about in the room. Under most circumstances, you should be able to resume your regular activities upon leaving the Center.
Medical Author: Bhupinder Anand, MD – http://www.medicinenet.com/flexible_sigmoidoscopy/article.htm