Tests & Procedures

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

Dr Neil Galletly - Best Gastroenterologist in Dubai

Tests & Procedures

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

Depending on your symptoms, it may be necessary to look at only the lower part of the large intestine rather than examining the whole colon with a colonoscopy.  A flexible sigmoidoscopy is a test to examine the lining of the rectum and the bottom part of the colon.  It involves passing a thin flexible camera through the anus into the rectum and colon.  This allows abnormal areas in the rectum and lower part of the colon such as inflammation, polyps, and cancers can be clearly visualized.  The test also allows biopsies (tiny pieces of tissue) to be taken from any abnormal areas to look at under the microscope.  A flexible sigmoidoscopy is an excellent test for diagnosing problems affecting the rectum and distal colon such as ulcerative colitis, diverticular disease, hemorrhoids, rectal polyps, and rectal cancer.   

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy in Dubai

The Procedure

To prepare for a flexible sigmoidoscopy you will be given an enema 30 minutes before the test to clear stool from the rectum and lower colon.  Because only the lower part of the colon is examined the preparation is much easier than for a colonoscopy where the entire colon needs to be clean. 

A flexible sigmoidoscopy uses much the same equipment as a colonoscopy test but the camera is only passed to the lower part of your colon (usually to the descending colon).  The examination is quicker and much less uncomfortable than a colonoscopy and typically takes only 5 minutes.  Most people choose to do the test awake without sedation – however, if you would prefer to sleep for the test, deep sedation can be arranged. 

A thin camera – it is about the thickness of a little finger – is then passed into the anus with plenty of lubrication.  During the test, the camera is passed gently into the lower part of the colon.  Tissue samples or biopsies may be taken during the test to give further information – this is a painless and very safe procedure.   

After the test, you may experience some trapped gas and bloating although most people have no symptoms at all.  Passing gas after the test can help get rid of any excess air and bloating. 

You will go home after the test.  If you have been given sedation you should not drive home yourself and should get home with a friend or relative or in a taxi.  

For Flexible Sigmoidoscopy related advice and queries feel free to get in touch with Dr Neil