A flexible sigmoidoscopy is a limited endoscopic procedure used to evaluate
the left half of the colon. It is typically used to assess conditions such
as inflammatory bowel disease but also may be used to evaluate rectal
bleeding or examine a site where a polyp was previously removed during a
colonoscopy. The limitation of this exam is that it does not examine the
entire colon. Therefore, it is typically not recommended for routine
colorectal cancer screening.
The exam typically does not require sedation although moderate
sedation may be provided. This is typically discussed with your physician
prior to undergoing the exam. The exam usually takes no more than 10
minutes. If no sedation is required, you will be able to drive yourself
Flexible sigmoidoscopy is very safe, but there are small risks involved.
There is a very rare (1 in 15,000) risk of a colon perforation (a puncture
in the lining of the colon) which may require surgery to repair. Other rare
risks include bleeding after a polyp is removed and heart or lung
complications following the anesthesia used for the procedure. Your
physician will discuss with you the risks and benefits of the colonoscopy
procedure before the procedure and will answer any questions.
At Digestive Disease Physicians, P.C., we are fully dedicated to providing solutions to address your unique needs. This personal care is why people throughout the Alexandria area come to Digestive Disease Physicians, P.C.