A flexible sigmoidoscopy is performed to allow your consultant to examine the inside of your bowel and is most commonly used to screen for bowel cancer. The instrument used allows surgical tools to be used should they be needed. The procedure is usually done as an outpatient procedure and shouldn’t take too long – around 10 to 15 minutes – meaning that you can leave hospital on the same day.
You will be asked to lie on your side and your consultant will insert the flexible sigmoidoscopy instrument into your back passage. The scope will be passed through your bowel for examination and will display images on a screen so that the consultant can diagnose your symptoms. During the procedure, the consultant may need to take biopsies. These are small samples of tissue that can be used to help with your diagnosis. They will be sent away to be examined and your results will be sent directly to your consultant to discuss with you during your follow up appointment.
You may feel a little bloated as the consultant will pump air or gas into your bowel to keep it open during the examination. Complications from a flexible sigmoidoscopy are very uncommon but on occasion can occur. Mr Stylianides will discuss everything with you prior to your procedure.