Dr Rupert Ransford Procedures

Having a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

What is a flexible sigmoidoscopy?

Whilst performing a flexible sigmoidoscopy, the endoscopist is able to look closely at the lining of the lower part of your large bowel, rectum and sigmoid colon. The instrument used is called a flexible sigmoidoscope which is a long flexible tube (about as thick as your first finger) with a bright light at the end. The sigmoidoscope is able to transmit very clear pictures onto a television screen. If small samples of tissue (biopsies) need to be taken, tiny forceps are used to remove the sample and you will not feel anything.

Preparation for the test

To ensure that your bowel is clear for the examination you will be given a phosphate enema one hour before your sigmoidoscopy . Some medications need to be stopped prior to the procedure and for a short time afterwards. These are listed below:

The examination

You will be given a sedative drug before the test begins. This will be administered through a small cannula which is inserted into the back of your hand. Following your sedation the sigmoidoscope is passed into the bowel. The test takes between 15 and 20 minutes. During the examination air will be inserted to partially inflate your bowel, this enables the lining of the bowel to be clearly seen.

Test results

You will be told the findings of the examination straight away. If you have had sedation you may not recall all that you have been told and you will receive written confirmation of the findings.

Going home

If you have had sedation it is very important that you have someone to accompany you home and stay with you for the remainder of the day.

Following sedation you should not:

Depending on the nature of your job, you should be able to return to work the next day.

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