Patient Info
Sigmoidoscopy is the examination of the rectum and sigmoid colon. Colonoscopy is the examination of the entire colon. In both examinations, a flexible scope is inserted into the lower GI tract for a direct look. Your doctor will be able to take specimens, remove polyps (a polypectomy) and diagnose inflammation such as colitis, causes of bleeding or tumors.
Inform Your Physician If...

  1. you have any allergies to medications or anesthetics.
  2. you take medication or are on a blood thinners.
  3. you have heart valve replacements or a history of endocarditis.
  4. you have had any total joint replacements within the past 1 year.
  5. you are pregnant.

Getting Ready...

  1. Arrive approximately one hour before scheduled time for your test. Check in at the receptionist's desk.
  2. Your doctor has chosen one of the following bowel preparations for you. In addition, you must follow a clear liquid diet on the day of your bowel preparation. This includes any liquid that you can see through. No orange juice or milk.
    • Magnesium Citrate (drink one whole bottle)
    • Golytely / Nulytely prep. Golytely instructions will be given to you by your pharmacist.
    • Other
  3. Do not eat or drink after 12 midnight prior to your procedure unless directed to do so by your physician.
  4. If antibiotics need to be given prior to the procedure, please arrive one and one half hours before your scheduled procedure time.
  5. Please dress simply. Do not bring large amounts of cash or wear expensive jewelry.

Your physician will discuss with you any possible risks or complications of these endoscopic procedures prior to sedation.
How Long? And What Happens?

  1. Length of procedures vary from fifteen minutes for a sigmoidoscopy up to one hour for a colonoscopy.
  2. The nurse will ask you to wear a gown and to be on your left side for the procedure.
  3. The colonoscopy usually requires intravenous sedation, therefore you will need someone to drive you home. The nurse will apply a cardiac monitor, blood pressure cuff and a device to measure oxygen concentration. Sedation is usually not required for a sigmoidoscopy.
  4. The endoscope is placed by the physician. The presence of the scope in your rectum may make you feel like need to have a bowel movement. You may feel some cramping and pressure. Sedation or pain medication can be given to promote relaxation and assist with any discomfort.

After The Procedure...

  1. You will be observed after the procedure for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Follow the written discharge instructions given to you by the nurse.
  3. With intravenous sedation, please have someone drive you home and remain with you for a few hours after the procedure.
  4. A light diet is usually recommended after the procedure. Your physician will give you instructions.

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