Flexible Sigmoidoscopy in Florida
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What is a flexible sigmoidoscopy?
A flexible sigmoidoscopy is an endoscopic procedure wherein a thin, long, flexible pipe, or “scope,” is placed into the rectum and advanced into the lower third of the colon. Because of this, this procedure has some limitations in that not all of the colon will be viewable. The pipe has a light and a camera on its end which grants the ability for the doctor to examine the lining of the colon. A sigmoidoscopy can be performed to:
- Diagnose the origin of gastrointestinal symptoms like:
- Loose or watery stools
- Unusual x-ray outcomes
- Pain in the abdomen
- Bleeding from the rectum
- As a screening tool for polyps and colon cancer.
Our GI providers conduct flexible sigmoidoscopies for Florida patients. In the event that you are dealing with any bothersome symptoms related to your gastrointestinal tract like those listed above, then contact Gastroenterology Associates of Florida to learn if a flexible sigmoidoscopy could benefit you.
What should I expect the day before my flexible sigmoidoscopy?
You will be given instructions from your physician in regard to the necessary bowel prep to perform in advance of the procedure. The majority of individuals will be instructed to consume only clear liquids all day, 24 hours ahead of the flexible sigmoidoscopy. There are many distinct types of laxatives to prepare the colon. It is very important to follow the directions provided to you by your Gastroenterology Associates of Florida GI provider. In addition, there will be directions regarding any medicine you are currently taking. In most cases, your medications will be continued as usual. However, in certain circumstances, especially in patients on blood thinners (i.e. Coumadin®, warfarin, Plavix®, aspirin, anti-inflammatories) and in diabetics, the individual directions will be provided. You will be directed to take nothing orally after midnight with the exception of medications.
What should I expect on the day of my flexible sigmoidoscopy?
You will be instructed to present at the endoscopy center 1 to 1.5 hours before your flexible sigmoidoscopy procedure at Gastroenterology Associates of Florida. This is to allow you adequate time to fill out all forms and prepare for the procedure. You will be directed to change into a hospital gown. Typically, no IV will be started since, usually, sedation is not given for this exam. You may be hooked up to equipment that will help the staff and provider to monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, pulse, electrocardiogram, breathing, and oxygen level during and following the procedure.
Once in the exam room, you'll be told to lie on your left side on the exam table. The doctor will carry out a rectal exam. The sigmoidoscope will then be slowly positioned just inside the rectum. The scope will then be carefully advanced throughout the sigmoid colon. A small bit of air is injected through the scope into the colon to assist in the physician's visualization. Any fluid remaining in the colon after the preparation can be washed and removed via the scope. Depending on the findings of the exam, a number of things can be done at the time of the procedure including removal of polyps, control of bleeding, and biopsies. At the conclusion of the procedure, all possible remaining fluid and air are suctioned out of the colon through the scope. Depending on the results, the exam typically takes 5 – 15 minutes to complete.
Because sedation is not generally needed, after the procedure is concluded the patient is asked to change back into their clothes and is released from the endoscopy unit. Assuming sedation is not utilized, you'll be able to perform your normal activities as well as drive. The majority of patients are ready to eat and drink regularly after their discharge from the endoscopy center, however, unique directions related to activity, eating, and medications will be provided to you before discharge. After the exam, the nurse and/or doctor will review the findings of the procedure with you. You will also go home with a written report. The patient will be informed of any results from biopsies within one week.
What are the risks of flexible sigmoidoscopy?
In most cases, sigmoidoscopy is an extremely safe test provided at Gastroenterology Associates of Florida. In all, complications are seen in less than 1 percent of cases. Most of the time, complications are minor, still, in the rare event of a complication, it may need hospitalization and surgery. Prior to the procedure, a consent form will be reviewed with the patient by the nursing staff. If any questions or concerns arise, these may be discussed with your GI provider before the procedure.
Bleeding might happen with biopsies and the removal of polyps. To reiterate, significant bleeding which might require a blood transfusion or hospitalization is extremely uncommon. Still, bleeding can occur during the test or anytime within two weeks after the exam in the event that a polyp is removed.
Perforation or puncture of the colon can take place. This can be realized during the procedure, or it may not be obvious until later in the day. In the majority of cases, a puncture will necessitate hospitalization and surgery. This is an uncommon complication, even when polyps are extracted. It is very important that you inform the provider’s office with haste if symptoms arise after the procedure like growing pain in the abdomen, fever or bleeding.
As with any other test, a sigmoidoscopy is not always without error. There exists a slight, accepted risk that abnormalities including but not limited to polyps and cancers can be overlooked during the procedure. It is vital to continue to maintain check-ups with your providers as directed and inform them of any new or ongoing symptoms. Please talk with your Gastroenterology Associates of Florida doctor if you think of any concerns or questions.
What are the alternatives to flexible sigmoidoscopy?
To a large degree, the alternatives to this exam will be dependent upon the reason for needing the sigmoidoscopy in the first place. There exist a number of x-rays that can look at the colon including a barium enema or virtual CT scan. These methods are however only diagnostic exams. Treatment of any identified abnormalities will call for colonoscopy, surgery, or sigmoidoscopy. To discover more in regard to flexible sigmoidoscopy in Florida or to discuss your options for treating and diagnosing your problem, we suggest you request an appointment with our GI providers at Gastroenterology Associates of Florida.
Advanced diagnostic testing for your GI needs
A flexible sigmoidoscopy can assist in identifying the cause of troubling gastroenterology symptoms like diarrhea, bleeding, and abdominal pain. Should you begin presenting with any of these listed symptoms, connect with an experienced gastroenterology physician immediately. You can locate a local GI specialist through Gastroenterology Associates of Florida. Our organization aims to give you the highest clinical standards and patient-centric care. To learn more about receiving a flexible sigmoidoscopy in Florida or any other endoscopic test, contact our team without delay.
Dr. Ulteig was very informative upon my initial visit. I was . a little disappointed after my colonoscopy to hear I had Diverticulitis and wasn’t offered any information on how to manage it or how bad it was just “eat whatever diet you choose”. Not very helpful information.
My experience with this Doctor was amazing. She explained everything with me about the procedure.
My consult visit with Dr. Ulteig was very pleasant. The office staff is efficient and my wait was short.
Have had Dr Steinberg as my Gastroenterologist for years; great guy. Staff are always friendly and helpful. If there’s anything that needs work it’s their communication system, which I understand they are transitioning to a new system now. Very much recommend them!
Pleasant staff. Minimal wait time and Doctor was great.