Your doctor has ordered a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy for you. This examination is an important tool in the prevention and early detection of colon cancer and the diagnosis of other colon diseases.
For best viewing, your colon must be completely empty of waste. Your doctor will recommend the best method of achieving a clean colon. Before your exam, you will be asked about allergies you may have, medications you take, and other pertinent information. You will then be asked to remove your clothing from the waist down and to put on a hospital gown and robe. This procedure may or may not be performed with sedation.
The exam takes between 5 and 20 minutes. It is performed using a thin, flexible tube. The tube is introduced into the rectum and passed into the last two feet of the colon. Biopsies may be taken during the exam, but this is not at all painful. You may feel cramping during the procedure; deep breathing and relaxation will help to keep any discomfort to a minimum.
After your exam, your doctor will review results of the exam with you. Your vital signs will be rechecked and you may leave. You may resume your normal activities and diet as soon as the exam is over, as long as you were not sedated. If your physician recommends sedation for this procedure, additional recovery time will be needed. Do not hesitate to ask your doctor or nurse any questions regarding the exam, sedation and recovery.