Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

WHAT IS A FLEXIBLE SIGMOIDOSCOPY?
A flexible Sigmoidoscopy is a procedure in which a physician looks at the anus, rectum and lower part of the large intestine through a small scope or tube called an endoscope. This test helps find abnormal growths such as tumors or polyps, hemorrhoids, areas of inflammation or bleeding and other conditions.

WHY SHOULD I HAVE A FLEXIBLE SIGMOIDOSCOPY?
This procedure can help find abnormal growths such as tumors or polyps, hemorrhoids, areas of inflammation or bleeding and other conditions.

Indications for a flexible sigmoidoscopy may include, but may not be limited to:

Diseases or illnesses that can be diagnosed as a results of a flexible sigmoidoscopy may include, but may not be limited to:

  • Diarrhea
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Rectal pain
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Infectious diarrhea

ENDOSCOPE
Thin flexible instrument used to visualize the inside of your rectum and colon. It can be used to collect a biopsy (small growths and tissue samples) and contains a small camera with a light on the end to videotape and capture images.

PREPARATION
Your physician or nurse will give you instructions on preparing for this procedure and you should follow the instructions given by them. Generally speaking, your physician will give you instructions on how to alter your diet prior to this procedure and on any prep you are to take. A flexible sigmoidoscopy is a very short procedure; therefore, sedation is not administered for this type of a procedure most of the time. If your physician determines that you will need sedation with your procedure, you will be required to have an adult at least 18 years of age or older to drive you home after the procedure.

IMPORTANT
Please call your physician if you were unable to follow your preparation instructions. It may be necessary that your test be re-scheduled. Please tell us in advance if your health history has changed in any way since you last saw your GI physician.

UPON ADMISSION

  • Your nurse will take your blood pressure, temperature and other vital signs
  • You will be asked about pain of any kind
  • Your nurse will review your medical history with you, and all of the forms that will need to be filled out
  • Your medications and allergies to medications will be reviewed
  • An IV will be started only if your physician determines that you will require sedation for your flexible sigmoidoscopy procedure
  • An assessment will be completed

THE PROCEDURE

  • Monitors will be placed on you in order that we may monitor your blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen saturation.
  • You will be placed on a small amount of oxygen through a nasal cannula.
  • Medications will be given by physicians orders throughout the procedure (medications most commonly used are Demerol; Versed; Fentanyl; and Phenergan). Please notify your nurse if you are allergic to any of these medications.
  • Your physician may take biopsies, remove polyps or perform treatment during the procedure (specimens will be sent for testing and your physicians office will call you with the results).
  • The procedure will usually take an average of 15-30 minutes.
  • If you DO NOT receive sedation for your procedure:
    • Some monitors used to record blood pressure and heart rate may be placed on you
  • If you DO receive sedation for your procedure:
    • Monitors will be placed on you in order that we may monitor your blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen saturation
    • You will be placed on a small amount of oxygen through a nasal cannula
    • Sedation medications of your physician’s choice will be given to you throughout your procedure

If you receive sedation, we require that an adult at least 18 years of age or older come with you to your appointment, remain in the center during your procedure, and drive you home upon discharge from our center. Remember to ask any questions that you may have at any time.

RECOVERY
If you do not receive sedation you are generally able to leave within 15 minutes after your procedure. If you receive sedation you will be required to recover for at least 30 minutes after your procedure. The nurse will take your temperature, vital signs and do an assessment and the physician will talk to you about your procedure. If appropriate, you will then be given fluids to drink.

DISCHARGE
Discharge instructions will be reviewed with you and the person accompanying you, if applicable, and will include the following:

  1. If you DID NOT receive sedation there generally are no restrictions placed on you upon discharge from the center; however, you will still be provided with written discharge instructions with information specific to your visit. You will need to call your physician if you experience severe abdominal pain, fever, or bleeding after leaving our center. For after-hours care (eg, emergencies) you will need to go to the local hospital emergency room.
  2. If you DID receive sedation:
    • Do not operate machinery or heavy equipment for 24 hour
    • Do not drink alcohol for 24 hours, but plenty of other fluids
    • Avoid any foods that are greasy or spicy for the first meal
    • No lifting over 10 pounds for 24 hours
    • Call your physician if you experience severe abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting or bleeding. For care after-hours (eg, emergencies) you will have to go to the local emergency room.
    • Fall precautions related to sedation will be reviewed
    • Resumption of your medications will be reviewed

You may be very sleepy at the time of discharge. You are encouraged to go home and rest for the rest of the day. Any special instructions from your physician will be written on the discharge sheet. Your physician will determine if follow-up is needed.