Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Screening (every 5 years)
Besides detecting colorectal cancer, a flexible sigmoidoscopy is a useful tool for diagnosing bowel changes, stomach discomfort, bleeding from the anus and unintended weight loss. During the procedure, you lie on your side while a flexible sigmoidoscope is inserted into the anus and moves through the rectum and into the lower colon. As the instrument is withdrawn, the lining of the intestine is examined for any abnormalities. The procedure lasts from five to 15 minutes.
If the endoscopist notices any areas of concern, a biopsy will be taken and submitted to a laboratory for further analysis. Unlike a colonoscopy, polyps are usually not removed during the sigmoidoscopy. If polyps are discovered, the doctor may recommend a colonoscopy to further investigate the entire colon.
Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Prep
In general, preparation usually consists of one or two enemas before the procedure, but it may also include laxatives or dietary adjustments. However, there are some cases – such as in those patients with acute diarrhea or colitis – where the doctor may recommend that the patient forego any special preparations before the sigmoidoscopy. Call and ask your physician for additional instructions that may apply to you and your condition.
Avera Digestive Disease Institute, working in conjunction with Avera Gastroenterology, facilitates two distinct settings for endoscopy care and screenings. Learn more about how these endoscopy suites use state-of-the-art technology and comfortable surroundings to provide patient-focused care.