About Your Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
What is a Flexible
A sigmoidoscopy is an examination of the lining
of the rectum and the sigmoid colon through a
flexible tube called a sigmoidoscope. This allows
a specially trained physician to directly view
this area and identify any problems.
to Do in Advance
1. Medications, Vitamins and Supplements
To properly prepare for your procedure, you may
need to make certain changes to your daily medication
- If you take insulin, consult with your physician
about making any necessary changes in you daily
- If you take medications that contain aspirin
or other anti-inflammatory drugs (such as Motrin,
Advil, Indocin, or Feldene), we recommend that
you stop taking them seven days before your
procedure. They may increase your risk of bleeding
after removal of a polyp or a biopsy during
your flexible sigmoidoscopy by interfering with
the normal clotting of your blood.
- IMPORTANT: IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY TAKING COUMADIN
OR HEPARIN, YOU MUST CHECK WITH YOUR PRESCRIBING
PHYSICIAN BEFORE CHANGING OR INTERRUPTING YOUR
- Stop taking iron supplements seven days before
- Certain medications should be continued
prior to your flexible sigmoidoscopy. If
you take cardiac (heart) or anti-hypertensive
(high blood pressure) pills, take them as you
normally do with small sips of water.
2. In addition to changes to your medication,
you'll also need to:
- Purchase two Fleet's Enemas, a laxative,
to cleanse your bowel. They can be bought over-the-counter
at any pharmacy.
- Bring a list of all your medications (prescription
medications, over-the-counter medications and
eye drops) with you on the day of your procedure.
You may bring the medication bottles themselves.
- Be prepared to list and describe your ALLERGIES
and REACTIONS to any medications.
the Day Before Your Procedure
To ensure the most accurate result possible,
it is important that you do not eat or drink anything
after midnight on the day before your procedure,
unless you are scheduled for an afternoon procedure
(see "On the Day of Your Procedure").
The exception is medication taken with small sips
the Day of Your Procedure
If you are scheduled for a morning procedure:
Take one Fleet's enema approximately 3 hours before
your scheduled arrival time. One hour later, take
the other Fleet's enema.
If you are scheduled for an afternoon procedure:
You may have CLEAR LIQUIDS only for breakfast.
Approximately 3 hours before your scheduled arrival
time, take one Fleet's enema. One hour later,
take the other Fleet's enema.
CLEAR LIQUIDS: water, apple juice, ginger ale,
sprite, beef or chicken broth WITHOUT noodles,
coffee or tea WITHOUT cream or milk, most sodas,
sherbet, pop-sicles, and Jell-O that is not
red or orange. DO NOT DRINK ANYTHING RED OR
- On the day of your flexible sigmoidoscopy,
please come directly to the requested location
at your scheduled arrival time and check in
with the receptionist.
- You will be taken to the procedure room and
will change into a hospital gown. You will be
lying on your left side for the procedure and
the sigmoidoscope will be passed into your rectum
to view the lining of the rectum and sigmoid
colon. The procedure takes approximately 5-15
- You may have some cramping or bloating as
a result of the air placed into your colon during
the procedure. You may return home and resume
your normal activities.
- The Endoscopist will discuss the results
of your procedure with you prior to your discharge.
You will receive discharge instructions on the
day of the test.
- Your endoscopy report and biopsy results
will be sent to your referring physician.
If you would like to speak to a nurse regarding
your procedure or preparation, or if you need
to reschedule your procedure, please call the
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Procedure questions: 215-662-2122
To reschedule: 215-349-8222
Penn Presbyterian Medical Center
All questions: 215-662-8900
Penn Medicine Radnor
All questions: 610-902-1500
Please be aware that these instructions apply
to patients scheduled for procedures at the Hospital
of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Presbyterian
Medical Center and Penn Medicine Radnor. However,
your doctor may give you different instructions
or procedures. If you have any questions about
your procedure, please contact your physician
at the Digestive & Liver Center.
Digestive System Illustration
Copyright A.D.A.M., Inc.