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Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

How to Prepare | What to Expect On Arrival | What to Expect After | For More Information

Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a diagnostic procedure that is used to screen for abnormalities in the sigmoid colon. This procedure examines the sigmoid colon (the lower quarter to third of the colon) using a lighted flexible scope that is inserted into the anus and advanced to this area. It is possible to take biopsies during the sigmoidoscopy procedure.

How to Prepare for Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

  • Your physician or physician's office will give you instructions as to which bowel preparation you will need to clean out your colon. You may also have diet and/or medication restrictions the week prior to the exam.
  • If you have not received the instructions two weeks prior to your exam, please contact the physician who will be performing the sigmoidoscopy procedure.
  • Contact the physician and inform her or him of any special needs, medical conditions, latex allergy, or current medications you are taking.
  • The GI Lab staff will attempt to contact you the day prior to your procedure to answer any questions you may have.

What to Expect Once You Arrive for Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

  • Since the sigmoid is expanded with air during the procedure, you are encouraged to pass flatus (gas) after the procedure.
  • Once you have met the discharge criteria, the physician will discuss with you the preliminary findings.
  • Diet, activity, and/or medication restrictions may be given to certain patients depending on the findings of the exam.
  • Patients are provided written discharge instructions to take home.

What to Expect After Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

  • Since the sigmoid is expanded with air during the procedure, you are encouraged to pass flatus (gas) after the procedure.
  • Once you have met the discharge criteria, the physician will discuss with you the preliminary findings.
  • Diet and/or medication restrictions may be given to certain patients depending on the findings of the exam.
  • Patients are provided discharge instructions to take home.

Note: Routinely this procedure is not done with intravaneous sedation.

For More Information

Flexible sigmoidoscopy is available at all of our GI lab locations. For more information on the sigmoidoscopy procedure or to schedule an appointment with one of our gastroenterologists, please call 888.364.6400.

NorthShore offers interpretive language services for non-English speaking patients. A request for this no-cost service should be made at the time of appointment scheduling.