What is flexible sigmoidoscopy?
Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a procedure which examines the rectum and sigmoid colon [Figure 1]. A thin flexible tube (with a tiny video camera at the tip) is advanced through the anus to the sigmoid colon [Figure 2]. Dr. Maher Abbas inspects the lining of the bowel. If needed, a small amount of tissue (biopsy) is obtained. The biopsy is analyzed by a pathologist (a laboratory doctor using specialized microscopy techniques).
Figure 1 – Flexible sigmoidoscopy examines the rectum and sigmoid colon
Figure 2 – Flexible sigmoidoscopy by Dr. Maher Abbas
Who should have a flexible sigmoidoscopy?
Most patients who need evaluation of the colon are advised to have a complete Colonoscopy. However, for some patients, the shorter examination of flexible sigmoidoscopy is recommended by Dr. Maher Abbas. This test is performed for conditions affecting the rectum and the sigmoid colon, for patients with prior rectal surgery or radiation therapy, proctologic disorders and constipation with difficulty of bowel motion, or as follow-up after polyp removal.
How is the procedure done?
The procedure is explained to you the day you meet Dr. Maher Abbas for the consultation. Rectal cleansing with 2 enemas is performed at home prior to coming for the examination. The preparation may differ depending on your condition.
The procedure is performed in the endoscopy suite. It usually takes 10-15 minutes or longer depending on your condition. It is performed with sedative medications. You do not feel or remember much of the procedure. Dr. Maher Abbas uses state of the art sedation equipment to ensure you have a pleasant experience [Figure 3]. Some patients prefer to be awake for the procedure.
A full report and images of the procedure are provided to you with treatment recommendations. The procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis and you go home afterwards. Normal activities are resumed the day after the procedure.
Figure 3 – Target controlled infusion [TCI] technology is used for optimal and safe sedation
Is there a risk with flexible sigmoidoscopy?
Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a safe procedure and Dr. Maher Abbas has performed thousands of endoscopic procedures. Minor risks and side effects include transient dizziness or nausea related to the medications, abdominal bloating and gas. A complication such as bleeding or perforation, a small hole in the rectum or sigmoid colon, is extremely rare.
If you would like to schedule a consultation and flexible sigmoidoscopy with Dr. Maher Abbas, click here.