What is a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy?
A flexible sigmoidoscopy is a routine test to examine the lower part of your colon, or large intestine. Unlike a colonoscopy which examines all of the bowels, a flexible sigmoidoscopy covers just the bottom portion, and is a less invasive procedure. The test is carried out using an endoscope which is a thin tube with a camera and light at the end. This is passed through the anus and will provide a clear view of the lining of your colon. This will enable Professor Aftab Ala to check on the condition of your bowel and make a diagnosis.
Why would I have a flexible sigmoidoscopy?
You may be advised to have a flexible sigmoidoscopy if you are suffering from:
- Bleeding from the rectum / anus
- Pain in your lower abdomen or stomach
- Persistent diarrhoea
- A family history of bowel cancer
What happens during a flexible sigmoidoscopy?
Before your flexible sigmoidoscopy takes place, your colon needs to be completely empty, so you will be required to take an enema beforehand. You will also need to refrain from eating or drinking on the day. The test itself takes only 15 minutes and will involve the endoscope being inserted through the anus into the lower bowel. There may be some discomfort and cramping but you should not feel any serious pain. The results of the test should be available within one to two weeks, and these will be discussed with you at the next consultation.