Traveling for Care?
Whether you're crossing the country or the globe, we make it easy to access world-class care at Johns Hopkins.
A flexible sigmoidoscopy is an endoscopic procedure that allows your doctor to examine the rectum and lower colon. A sigmoidoscope is a specialized endoscope, a thin, flexible lighted tube with a camera at the tip that your doctor uses to visualize the area.
The procedure is similar to a colonoscopy, but the sigmoidoscope does not reach as far as the colonoscope. Flexible sigmoidoscopy takes approximately 10 to 20 minutes and may be performed in your doctor’s office.
Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a well-tolerated procedure that causes minimal discomfort. Your doctor may recommend it in order to evaluate:
Your doctor may also use flexible sigmoidoscopy to screen for colon cancer.
In order to ensure a safe and thorough procedure, you will need to follow a clear liquid diet and have an enema prior to the procedure. This way your digestive tract is clear and your doctor has good visibility. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to prepare, including which prescription medications are safe to take.
During a flexible sigmoidoscopy, you remain awake and lie on your left side. Usually, no sedative is necessary. Your doctor will:
After the procedure, your doctor will discuss the findings with you. You can go home the same day and return to your regular activities right away.