Patient Information
Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
Lower gastroenterology endoscopy is a direct examination of your large bowel.  A colonoscope is a soft, flexible instrument, about the diameter of a finger, with a light and lens at the end which allows your doctor to see into your colon.  Flexible sigmoidoscopy is an examination of only a short portion of the lower colon.  the tube-like instrument is inserted into the rectum and advanced through the colon so that visual inspection can be carried out.  During, the procedure you will be laying on your left side.  Your doctor can then take samples from the colon lining, including biopsies and brushings, if needed.  This sampling is not painful. Certain treatments may also be given thorough the scope as in the removal of polyps.  You may have a sensation of bloating, gas or cramping as air is pumped into the colon for better visualization.

Special Instructions:
1.  Drink one bottle of Magnesium Citrate the night before the procedure.
2.  Take two Fleet enemas about 2-3 hours before your procedure.
3.  Do NOT eat or drink after midnight before the procedure.  Your usual medications can usually be taken with a sip of water, but please discuss this beforehand with your doctor.  Your stomach should be empty during the test.
4.  Arrive at the hospital one-half to one hour prior to your scheduled procedure time.  Bring your insurance cards and information.
5.  This test may be done with no sedation, in which case you may leave immediately after the test is over and drive yourself home.  If you plan on receiving sedation for this test, a responsible person must come with you who can stay during the procedure and drive you home.

What To Expect:
Before your procedure you will be interviewed by a Registered Nurse.  She will ask some questions about your symptoms, health history and take your blood pressure, pulse and temperature.  If you do not know them by name, please bring a list of your allergies and current medications.  The nurse will also insert a small needle into a vein in your arm if your are receiving sedation.  If you do not receive sedation for this test you may go home as soon as your procedure is completed.  If you received sedation, after your procedure you will be sleepy.  You can expect to feel bloated or crampy and pass gas from your rectum.  This is just air that was pumped in through the scope during your procedure and you should not be embarrassed to pass it.  Your blood pressure and pulse will be monitored frequently.   You will stay in the recovery area until you are alert and oriented and your vital signs are stable, usually about one hour after your sedation was given.  You may  be drowsy for a few hours after you go home.  Your doctor will talk to you or the person who came with you before you go home.  If biopsies were taken, it will take 3-4 days to get the report.  You will receive written discharge instructions and appropriate teaching materials before you leave. If you received sedation, you will not be able to drive for the rest of the day and should not plan on working the day of your test.