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Rigid Sigmoidoscopy: What Is It?

Aug 25

What You Should Understand

The rectum and sigmoid colon are inspected during a rigid sigmoidoscopy. The sigmoid colon refers to the lower portion of your intestines that is closest to your rectum. A sigmoidoscope will be implanted in your rectum. This is a strong tube with a tiny camera and light on the end. The procedure involves seeing pictures of your colon on a monitor. A rigid sigmoidoscopy may be performed to detect infections, polyps, and inflammation in the colon.

How To Prepare

Consider making the following preparations before your procedure:

  • Your healthcare provider will advise you on how to prepare. Make plans for someone to drive you home after the procedure.
  • Inform your doctor whether you have ever had a sigmoidoscopy, barium enema, or colonoscopy, along with the date of your procedure.
  • All of the drugs you are currently taking should be disclosed to your doctor. If and when you should stop taking any drugs in preparation for this operation, he or she will let you know. He or she will give you advice on which drugs to take or not take the day of the surgery.
  • Tests on the blood, urine, or bowel movements can be necessary.
  • Inform your doctor if you're expecting or if you have any other medical issues, such as severe bowel inflammation or kidney problems. Some colon cleanser drugs may be damaging to your health.


You may be told to abstain from food and liquids the evening before your treatment

Make the following preparations on the day of your procedure:

  • You will be required to sign a legal consent form, either by yourself or by a close family. It gives permission to medical professionals to carry out the procedure or surgery. It also explains your alternatives and any potential problems. Verify that all of your questions have been answered before you sign this form.
  • Make sure your bowels are empty before your procedure. This makes it easier for your doctor to view what's going on within your colon. You could need a laxative.
  • This medicine facilitates bowel movements. An enema may be necessary as well. This liquid is injected into the rectum to help with bowel cleaning.
  • Take no more than the drugs your doctor has advised. If required, take your prescriptions with a few modest sips of water.
  • Your vein may be used to put an IV by medical professionals. You could be given drinks or medications via the IV.
  • You could get sedative medicine as part of this therapy.

What Will Happen

Your left side should be facing up, and either one or both of your legs should be close to your chest. Your doctor will examine your anus and use a finger to feel your rectum. Your doctor could check your prostate if you're a man. If your colon is not empty after the first enema, your doctor may perform another one.

After being lubricated, the sigmoidoscope will be gently inserted into your rectum and sigmoid colon. Your doctor will introduce water or air through the tube to help clean or expand your colon. The passage of the tube and air may provide a pressure feeling and little discomfort. Your doctor could take tissue samples from the gut walls and submit them for analysis to a lab. Additionally, he will remove any feces that are obstructing your gut.

You can have gas or bloating after surgery because there is still air in your intestines. To relieve pain or ease bowel motions, medications may be recommended. You could be permitted to go home if your doctor has determined that you are in excellent health.

  • Receive medical care if blood is present in your bowel movement.
  • You haven't gone to the bathroom in a while.
  • In your abdomen, hardness and tenderness manifest.
  • Your vomit contains blood or bile (a yellow or green fluid).


You might bleed or feel pain while the scope is placed. You might experience a slowing of your heartbeat and a reduction in blood pressure that would cause you to faint out and start sweating. The scope has the potential to pierce (make a hole in) or perforate (tear) your colon. This may cause bowel movement to leak into your abdomen from the colon.