The lowest portion of the gastrointestinal, or GI tract, comprised of the sigmoid colon and rectum, is the site of numerous medical conditions that can cause pain or discomfort, or threaten long-term health. Ranging from hemorrhoids to colon cancer, many of these conditions share similar symptoms, including abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits, and rectal bleeding. However, before effective treatment can be given, the underlying cause must be diagnosed. The Flexible Sigmoidoscopy procedure enables a physician to examine this segment of the lower GI tract in order to identify the cause of such symptoms. The procedure is performed with a sigmoidoscope, a thin, flexible tube equipped with a light and camera that sends images to a monitor viewed by the physician. Instruments can also be passed through the sigmoidoscope to collect tissue samples or provide treatment. At Great South Bay Endoscopy, our board certified physicians employ advanced endoscopic equipment and procedures, ensuring our patients receive the most effective diagnostic services available today.
Understanding the Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Procedure
Flexible sigmoidoscopy has brought great advances to the evaluation and treatment of lower GI disorders, and the procedure is quick and typically well tolerated. Patients receive instructions on protocols to follow the day before the endoscopy procedure is performed to ensure their lower GI tract is clear. A sedative is administered before the procedure, minimizing any discomfort. Some patients experience a feeling of pressure, bloating or cramping during flexible sigmoidoscopy, as a result of air introduced into the GI tract. Should the physician observe an area that needs further evaluation, a biopsy, or tissue sample may be taken for analysis. If colon polyps are found, a colonoscopy is often recommended so the entire colon can be examined. If lower GI problems are compromising your quality of life, effective and affordable help is available. Call or email us today to schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified gastroenterologists.