What is a Flexible Fiberoptic Sigmoidoscopy Procedure?

At Blair Gastroenterology Associates, we offer a test called a flexible fiberoptic sigmoidoscopy. This is a minimally invasive medical examination that is used to evaluate the lower part of the large intestine, or colon, and is a screening test for colon cancer. The flexible fiberoptic sigmoidoscopy allows your physician to look for abnormal cells, cancer, polyps, and ulcers. Blair Gastroenterology Associates specializes in flexible fiberoptic sigmoidoscopy procedures and would be happy to accommodate your need for this type of testing. Please be sure to contact our office or speak to your primary care doctor today about referring you to one of our specialists.

What Can I Expect During My Flexible Fiberoptic Sigmoidoscopy?

Before your exam, a licensed CRNA will sedate you. During a flexible fiberoptic sigmoidoscopy exam, your doctor will insert a thin, flexible tube (sigmoidoscope) into your rectum. A tiny video camera at the tip of the tube allows the doctor to view the inside of the rectum and most of the sigmoid colon, about the last two feet of the large intestine. If necessary, tissue samples can be taken through the scope during a flexible sigmoidoscopy exam. A flexible fiberoptic sigmoidoscopy test does not allow the physician to see the entire colon. This means that any cancers or polyps farther into the colon cannot be detected with flexible fiberoptic sigmoidoscopy alone. After the procedure, the physician will meet with you and discuss the findings, and you’ll receive a copy of the operative report at the time of your discharge. If any biopsies are taken during the procedure, you will be notified of the results within seven to ten days, and a copy of the report will be forwarded to your primary care physician. After your sigmoidoscopy, you will receive discharge instructions.

Preparing for your Flexible Fiberoptic Sigmoidoscopy

Before your flexible fiberoptic sigmoidoscopy procedure, your doctor will give you written instructions on what to do in the days or weeks leading up to the exam. The night before your exam, you will be on a clear liquid diet and will need to take Dulcolax tablets with your clear liquid dinner. After midnight, you cannot have anything to eat or drink. The day of your procedure you will need to abstain from smoking. Two hours before the exam you will need to use a fleet enema and then use another one, one hour before. When you come in for the procedure, be sure to wear comfortable clothing and avoid wearing any jewelry. You must have a driver bring you to and from the procedure.