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Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

Your colon helps your body absorb water and nutrients from the food you eat, and it is also where your stool is formed. The last portion of your colon is called the sigmoid colon. Sometimes your SSM Health physician will need to examine this portion of your colon by performing a flexible sigmoidoscopy.

At SSM Health, our digestive health specialists provide a full range of outpatient gastrointestinal diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, including flexible sigmoidoscopy. Schedule an appointment today if you have questions or concerns about your digestive health.

About the Procedure

Proctoscopic or flexible sigmoidoscopic examination is a procedure using a lighted tube to visualize, or look into, the lower bowel. This exam is done for several reasons, including:

  • As part of a complete physical examination
  • For evaluation and diagnosis of rectal pain or bleeding
  • For evaluation and diagnosis or prolonged diarrhea, mucus or blood in stools
  • Inspection for polyps or tumors of the lower bowel

What to Expect

Most procedures take 30-45 minutes to complete and recovery is usually within one hour after the procedure. Be aware that you will be given medicine that will make you drowsy. Therefore, you will not be allowed to drive yourself home, and you must have a responsible adult with you upon discharge. You should not operate machinery, drink alcoholic beverages, or make critical decisions (i.e. sign legal documents) for 12 hours after the procedure. We encourage you to rest the remainder of the day.

Your SSM Health physician will discuss the results of the test with you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions or concerns regarding your colorectal health or the results of your test.

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