Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Overview
In many ways, a flexible sigmoidoscopy is similar to a colonoscopy. However, a flexible sigmoidoscopy only allows a gastroenterologist to see the left side of a patient's colon, which includes the descending colon, sigmoid, and rectum. There may be certain instances where flexible sigmoidoscopy is preferred to colonoscopy.

Why get a flexible sigmoidoscopy?
Many of the reasons to get a colonoscopy overlap with the reasons to get a flexible sigmoidoscopy, which are:
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Anal fissure (a tear in the anus)
  • Change in bowel habits
  • Change in stool caliber
  • Diarrhea

What can a flexible sigmoidoscopy detect?
A flexible sigmoidoscopy can detect causes of bleeding in the lower portion of the colon. Hemorrhoids are a common cause of bright red blood per rectum. In addition, anal fissures can cause blood per rectum. Flexible sigmoidoscopy plays an important role in ruling out other causes of bleeding. It is important to remember that flexible sigmoidoscopy does not look at the entire colon; therefore, colonoscopy may be recommended instead depending on the patient's age and risk factors for colon cancer.

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the preparation for a flexible sigmoidoscopy?
A. The preparation involves the administration of one or two enemas in order to clean out the lower portion of the colon.

Q. Is sedation used for a flexible sigmoidoscopy?
A. Sedation is not required for a flexible sigmoidoscopy. However, many patients prefer sedation, because it makes the procedure much more comfortable.

The content on this website is for informational purposes only. The information on this website is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified medical professional. Always seek the advice of your qualified medical professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Friday July 12, 2024