Flexible Sigmoidoscopy: Why It Might Be For You


A flexible Sigmoidoscopy is a procedure in which a physician looks at the anus, rectum and lower part of the large intestine through a small scope or tube called an endoscope. This test helps find abnormal growths such as tumors or polyps, hemorrhoids, areas of inflammation or bleeding and other conditions.

Why Should I Have a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy?
This procedure can help find abnormal growths such as tumors or polyps, hemorrhoids, areas of inflammation or bleeding and other conditions.



  • Diarrhea
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Rectal pain
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Infectious diarrhea

A thin flexible instrument used to visualize the inside of your rectum and colon. It can be used to collect a biopsy (small growths and tissue samples) and contains a small camera with a light on the end to videotape and capture images.

Your physician or nurse will give you instructions on preparing for this procedure.

You may receive sedation, which will require that you have someone available to drive you home after the procedure. There are some instances in which sedation is not given.

IMPORTANT: Please tell your nurse if you are allergic to: Fentanyl, Versed, Demerol or Phenergan. We ask that you also inform us in advance if your health history has changed in any way since you last saw your GI physician.

Upon Admission

  • Your nurse will take your blood pressure, temperature and other vital signs
  • You will be asked about pain of any kind
  • Your nurse will go over all of the forms that will need to be filled out
  • Your medications and allergies to medications will be reviewed
  • An IV will be started
  • An assessment will be completed

The Procedure

  • Monitors will be placed on you in order that we may monitor your blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen saturation.
  • You will be placed on a small amount of oxygen through a nasal cannula.
  • Medications will be given by physicians orders throughout the procedure (medications most commonly used are Demerol; Versed; Fentanyl; and Phenergan). Please notify your nurse if you are allergic to any of these medications.
  • Your physician may take biopsies, remove polyps or perform treatment during the procedure (specimens will be sent for testing and your physicians office will call you with the results).
  • The procedure will usually take an average of 30-45 minutes.

We require that the person accompanying you remain at the Center during your procedure and to drive you home after your procedure. If you have any valuables with you, we will ask that you give them to the person accompanying you. Remember to ask any questions that you may have at any time.

You will remain in recovery for at least 30 minutes. The nurse will take your temperature, vital signs and do an assessment and the physician will talk to you about your procedure. If appropriate, you will then be given fluids to drink.

Discharge instructions will be reviewed with you and the person accompanying you and will include all of the following:

  • Do not operate machinery or heavy equipment for 24 hours
  • Do not drink alcohol for 24 hours
  • Drink plenty of other fluids
  • Avoid any foods that are greasy or spicy for the first meal
  • Call your physician if you experience severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or bleeding.

You may be very sleepy at the time of discharge. You are encouraged to go home and rest for the rest of the day. Any special instructions from your physician will be written on the discharge sheet. Your physician will determine if follow-up is needed. Contact us if you have any questions or to schedule an appointment.

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