What is a flexible sigmoidoscopy?

A colon exam. This is a limited exam of the distal colon and rectum, typically done without sedation in an office setting. This has been used as part of colon cancer screening regimens, but has been largely replaced by colonoscopy which allows a complete colon exam.

Related Questions

What does a flexible sigmoidoscopy involve?

Evaluating the colon. In this procedure a flexible endoscope is passed via the anus, through the rectum up to the splenic flexure. The allows the evaluation of the distal 1/3 of the colon. Cramping during the procedure is common. Sedation can be used in the appropriate setting but is not necessary. A bowel preparation is generaly done prior. Enemas are generally sufficient. Read more...
Guts. I would rather go to the dentist. But nitrous oxide is a good idea to help relax during this mildly uncomfortable and moderately embarrassing procedure. Read more...
Camera. You get a camera inserted through your rectum to examine the rectum and the sigmoid colon. You may or may not be offered anesthesia for this procedure. You need to at least have an enema before the procedure to cleanse the colon, and sometimes a laxatives preparation the day before. Read more...

What if the flexible sigmoidoscopy shows something abnormal?

Depends on findings. Flexible sigmoidoscopy looks at lower 1/3 of colon. Better look is with colonoscopy, which looks at entirety of colon. In general, if abnormality seen on flex sig, colonoscopy is recommended. Read more...
Sigmoidoscope. Then your gastroenterologist will talk with u about the findings & plan for treatment, if any. Prepare to ask all questions u might have during that appointment. Wish u well. Read more...

What does a flexible sigmoidoscopy feel like? Are you out for it?

'Flex sig' ='cramps' For a 'flex sig' you are usually awake with no anesthesia unless arranged ahead of time with your doctor/G.I. Doctor . The pain/cramps you experience is from the air placed in the lower colon so we can see the entire bowel wall . The usual indications for flex sig are for follow-up for known proctitis (colitis) otherwise a full colonoscopy is the best test for colon cancer screening. Read more...
Gas. Usually not. Flexible sigmoidoscopy is usually perfomed without sedation. It is well tolerated. The sensation is like intestinal gas- some pressure but not intolerable. The use of carbon dioxide rather than air for inflation makes the procedure less uncomfortable. Read more...

What can a Flexible sigmoidoscopy Test for?

Lower colon exam. Flexible sigmoidoscopy is direct visualization of the lowest part of the colon, rectum and anus. It can identify polyps, hemorrhoids, fissures and cancer in those portions of the intestinal tract. Read more...
Common GI symptoms. Flexible sigmoidoscopy is commonly used to evaluate gastrointestinal symptoms, such as abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, or changes in bowel habits. It is also performed to screen people older than age 50 for colon and rectal cancer. Read more...

What can be expected during my flexible sigmoidoscopy?

Not much. You will be under the influence of either an amnestic (blocks memory) and/or light sedative. You won't remember a thing and likely get a terrific nap in the process. Now, preparing for the experience by evacuating your bowels the day before can be challenging. Read more...

What are some alternatives to the flexible sigmoidoscopy?

Colonoscopy. One has to know more about what is being evaluated. I use flexible sigmoidoscopy to evaluate known issues in the distal colon and rectum, frequently after a full colonoscopy has been done. I would ask your physician her opinion. Read more...
Several. Rigid proctosigmoidoscopy, full colonoscopy, air contrast barium enema xray, ct colonography. Depending on the reason you need an exam will determine which is the most appropriate technique to use. Read more...

What are possible complications of a flexible sigmoidoscopy?

Depends. If the test is done with sedation (typically not necessary) then there are risks of sedation. Otherwise typical risks of this procedure can include pain or cramps, bleeding (especially if there will be biopsies), infection, missing a lesion or a perforation (hole in the intestine). That being said, these risks are very rare. Read more...
Perforation. There are no common complications to flex sig. It is generally very safe. The two main risks is a missed lesion (15% rate) and a peroration (<1% rate). Read more...

What preparation is required for the flexible sigmoidoscopy?

Flex sig. Usually two enemas. Again, this is a procedure for the history books. Almost always an indication for a sigmoidoscopy is an indication for a colonoscopy. Read more...
A few enemas. In flexible sigmoidoscopy, only the lower portion of the colon is examined. For this reason, a complete bowel prep is not required; only a few enemas. Read more...