Instructions for Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

Your healthcare provider has recommended that you have a flexible sigmoidoscopy. During this procedure a flexible fiber optic tube (Sigmoidoscope) is passed through the rectum to the lower intestine (sigmoid colon). The doctor will examine the lining of the rectum and sigmoid colon. A biopsy specimen – a very small tissue sample – may be taken for microscopic examination. You should not have any sensation or discomfort if a biopsy is taken.

During the procedure you will lie on your left side with your knees bent. The doctor will first examine your rectum with a gloved finger. Then a lubricated Sigmoidoscope will be inserted. As the Sigmoidoscope is carefully advanced through the rectum and sigmoid colon, the doctor will examine the intestinal lining for any abnormalities. You may feel some cramping or gas as air is introduced. You may experience mild lower abdominal pressure as the scope is advanced. These sensations are tolerable but sometimes uncomfortable. Following the procedure your doctor will discuss the findings with you and will forward a report to your primary care provider.


  1. If your procedure is before 12:00 pm, please do not have anything to eat or drink after midnight.
  2. If your procedure is after 12:00 pm, you may have clear liquids up to 6 hours before your procedure.
  3. Purchase 2 Fleets Enema, 4 ½ oz, ready to use preparation.
  4. Insert first enema one hour prior to appointment. Retain in colon for 5 minutes, then release.
  5. Wait 5 minutes.
  6. Insert second enema. Retain 5 minutes, then release.

You will be unable to drive home after your procedure. If you have any questions regarding these instructions or the exam, please call our office.