Your physician has determined that flexible sigmoidoscopy is necessary for further evaluation or treatment of your condition. This page has been prepared to help you understand the procedure. It includes answers to questions patients ask most frequently. Please read it carefully. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to discuss them with the endoscopy nurse or your physician before the examination begins.
You may also view the patient preparation information:
Patient Procedure Instructions
What is flexible sigmoidoscopy?
What preparation is required?
What about my current medications?
What can be expected during flexible sigmoidoscopy?
What if the flexible sigmoidoscopy shows something abnormal?
What happens after flexible sigmoidoscopy?
What are possible complications of flexible sigmoidoscopy?
Flexible sigmoidoscopy and biopsy are generally safe when performed by physicians who have been specially trained and are experienced in these endoscopic procedures. Possible complications include a perforation (tear through the bowel wall) and bleeding from the site of the biopsy.
Although the complications after flexible sigmoidoscopy are rare, it is important for you to recognize early signs of any possible complication. Contact your physician if you notice any of the following symptoms: severe abdominal pain, fevers and chills, or rectal bleeding of more than one-half a cup. It is important to note that rectal bleeding can occur several days after a biopsy.