What is a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy?
A Flexible Sigmoidoscopy is a test that lets the doctor see the lining of the large intestine (also known as the colon or intestine) from the rectum (back tube) to the sigmoid colon, which is the very end of the large intestine.
A sigmoidscope is a thin, flexible “fiber optic” tube that is used in the process. It is put through the anus (the opening to the back passage), into the rectum, and then into the large intestine. The sigmoidscope’s end has a light that sends pictures to a screen so the doctor can see the walls of the bowel clearly.
In addition to looking at the lining, swabs (small pieces of tissue that can be looked at under a microscope) can be taken and polyps (small growths that stick out) can be taken out.
The test is generally done to look into bowel signs like bleeding from the anus, changes in bowel movements, abdominal pain, or problems found in other tests, like a barium enema.
This picture shows the sigmoid colon, the ascending colon, and the transverse colon.
What do I need to know before admission?
You will be asked to go to the Endoscopy unit. You will likely be there for one to two hours, but it could be longer. The time of your visit does not include the time you will get treatment.
During the appointment time, you can talk about any worries you have and the nurses will check to see if you are medically fit to go ahead with the operation. Please be on time for the time written on your letter.
Also, please keep in mind that your treatment could be pushed back or canceled at the last minute. In these situations, we’re sorry for the trouble this causes and will do our best to reschedule your meeting as soon as possible.
Preparing yourself for admission
Stop taking iron pills until after the surgery.Aspirin, warfarin, clopidogrel, rivoraxaban, or apixian are examples of blood thinners that can help thin the blood.
If you have diabetes and take these or other medicines, please call the endoscopy unit so that we can talk about them with you.
If you are given any drugs that make you constipated, like Loperamide/Immodium, Codeine Phosphate, etc., stop taking them.
But, until your appointment, keep taking all of your other laxatives.At your clinic visit, you may be given medicine to help you go to the bathroom. If this has not been done, an enema will be done on the Endoscopy unit when you get there for your flexible sigmoidoscopy.
When you go to the Endoscopy room, could you please bring a dressing gown and slippers?
Please leave all belongings at home, including jewelry (except wedding bands), because we don’t have a safe place to keep them.
If you are getting a barium enema, please keep in mind that you should wait 10 days between treatments.
What happens on admission?
A nurse will fill out an admitting form with all of your personal information on the day you are admitted. They are going to check your breathing, pulse, and blood pressure. The nurse will talk you through the procedure, let you know about any risks and problems that might come up with a flexible sigmoidoscopy, and answer any questions you may have.
As soon as you have read and fully understood the consent form for the operation, the doctor, endoscopy tech, or nurse will ask you to sign it.
After that, you’ll be told to put on a hospital gown, a dressing gown, and shoes. You can take out your false teeth, contacts, and glasses later; the nurse will let you know when.
Please keep in mind that family or friends who bring you to your meeting will not be able to stay with you. You can tell them to wait downstairs in the lobby or leave a phone number so we can call them. Then, when you are ready to be sent home, which could be in one to two hours, we will call them.
What happens during the Flexible Sigmoidoscopy?
For the process, you will be taken to a room for exams. You should lie on your left side with your knees bent on a couch. The staff will help you get into the right position. During the process, a nurse will stay with you.
First, jelly is used to grease the scope, which is then carefully passed through the anus into the large intestine. After that, air will be pushed through it to open it up and make it possible to see the lining.
A tiny piece of tissue may be taken out (biopsy) if the doctor notices any changes in the tissue.
Tools may be passed through the scope to do this. The doctor may also remove any polyps that are found, or they may tell you to come back at a later time to have them taken out. Any samples of tissue removed, including polyps, are sent to the laboratory for expert examination.
It might take 10 to 20 minutes for the process to finish. You may feel some cramping in your lower abdomen and need to go to the bathroom or pass wind during the procedure. This is normal, so don’t worry about it or feel bad if it happens. Your bowel will be empty, and if there is still some fluid in it, it can be “sucked away” by a channel in the scope.
What happens after the Flexible Sigmoidoscopy?
You will likely spend some time resting in the recovery room on the unit after the test. The nurses will look at your heart, blood pressure, and oxygen levels, as well as how well you’ve recovered from the test as a whole. Please let the staff know if you feel sick in any way.
Because air was passed into your stomach during the test, you may feel a little bloated and have wind pains. Please don’t feel bad if you need to go to the bathroom; it will help you feel better quickly. Please let the endoscopy staff know right away if you are in pain.
There will be food and drinks for you. If you have diabetes, you can bring a lunch with you, and it will be kept for you until you are ready to eat it.
Next, you can change. When you’re ready to go, the nurse will talk to you about the flexible sigmoidoscopy, answer any questions you may have, and give you a letter of release.
If you had biopsies or polyps removed, you may pass small amounts of blood from your back passage after the operation. That being said, this shouldn’t last or get worse. If this does happen or if you start to feel sick or have serious abdominal pain, you need to call the unit, your doctor, or the GP emergency center right away.
What are the risks and complications of Flexible Sigmoidoscopy?
Before you get a flexible sigmoidoscopy, you should really know about the possible risks and problems that could happen. Some of these are:
• Internal blood, also called hemorrhage, can happen where the biopsy was done or where the polyp was taken out. Most of the time, bleeding goes away on its own, but in some cases, it can be dangerous.
• There is a 1:2000 chance of bleeding inside the body. It is more likely that major bleeding will happen when larger polyps are removed.
The lining of the large intestine can become damaged, which can lead to perforation. This can cause intestinal fluids to leak into the abdominal cavity. The chance of making a hole in the bowel is 1 in 1000. This is a possible major problem that might need to be fixed surgically.