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Flexible sigmoidoscopy

A flexible sigmoidoscopy is usually a safe and effective way of finding out if you have a problem with the lower part of your large bowel. Book online today.

What is a flexible sigmoidoscopy?

A flexible sigmoidoscopy is a procedure to look at the lower part of the large bowel (colon) using a thin flexible tube with a light and camera at the end of it. Some air needs to be blown in through the camera so clear views can be obtained of the bowel.

Sometimes a polyp is the cause of the problem and the endoscopist may be able to remove it during the procedure.

Are there any alternatives to a flexible sigmoidoscopy?

Other options include a barium enema (an x-ray test of the large bowel) although this is rarely used now. More commonly a CT colonography (a special scan of the large bowel) is used to detect any abnormalities. A Colonoscopy is similar to a flexible sigmoidoscopy but the aim is to go around all of the large bowel.

What does the procedure involve?

A flexible sigmoidoscopy usually takes approximately 10 minutes, however this can vary for every patient. The endoscopist will be able to look for problems such as inflammation or polyps, which are warty growths in the bowel and are very common. They will be able to perform biopsies and take photographs to help make the diagnosis and some polyps may also be removed during the procedure.

If appropriate, the endoscopist may ofer you a gas & air or a sedative to help you relax, but this will be discussed with you along with any risks.

What complications can happen?

Although rare, complications can happen. Your endoscopist will explain these to you. Complications can include:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Breathing difficulties or heart irregularities
  • Making a hole in the large bowel
  • Bleeding
  • Incomplete procedure

How soon will I recover?

You may feel a bit bloated for a few hours but this will pass.

A member of the team will tell you what was found during the colonoscopy and will discuss with you any treatment or follow-up you need.

You should be able to go back to work the day after the colonoscopy.

It is important to remember that if you have had sedation then this is in your system for at least 24 hours, so you will be advised not to do anything for this time and someone must be with you.

Sigmoidoscopy summary

A flexible sigmoidoscopy is usually a safe and effective way of finding out if you have a problem with the lower part of your large bowel.

Paying for your procedure

Flexible sigmoidoscopy costs are covered by most medical insurance policies, but please check with your insurer first. If you are paying for your own treatment the cost of the procedure will be explained and confirmed in writing when you book the procedure. Ask the hospital for a quote beforehand, and ensure that this includes the surgeon’s fee, the anaesthetist’s fee and the hospital charge for your procedure.

Acknowledgements

Author: Mr Simon Parsons DM FRCS (Gen. Surg.)

Copyright © 2008 EIDO Healthcare Limited   The operation and treatment information on this website is produced by EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by BMI Healthcare. The intellectual property rights to the information belong exclusively to EIDO Healthcare Limited. You may not copy, print out, download or otherwise reproduce any of the information other than for your personal, non-commercial use. The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

Colonoscopy with polyp removal

Patient pathway Initial consultation Diagnostic Investigations Main treatment Post discharge care Total
Hospital fees N/A Included £2,595 Included £2,595
Consultants fees £200 N/A Included Included £200
Total £2,795

Exam of lower bowel / rectum

Patient pathway Initial consultation Diagnostic Investigations Main treatment Post discharge care Total
Hospital fees N/A Included £1,320 Included £1,320
Consultants fees £200 N/A Included Included £200
Total £1,520

Specialists Offering Flexible sigmoidoscopy

Mr John Simpson

Consultant General Surgeon

MBchB PHD FRCS_x000D_  

BMI The Duchy Hospital

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Mr Anwar Owais

Consultant Colorectal and General Surgeon

MBBS MD FRCS

BMI The Ridgeway Hospital

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Dr Ehoud (Udi) Shmueli

Consultant Physician & Gastroenterologist

MB ChB, MD, FRCP

BMI Three Shires Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr Mark Henwood

Consultant General Surgeon

MB BCh DM FRCS (Eng) FRCS (Gen Surg)

BMI Werndale Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr John Bunni

Consultant Colorectal and General Surgeon

M.B., Ch.B (Honours), Diploma in Laparoscopic Surgery, FRCS [ASGBI Gold Medal]

BMI Bath Clinic

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