To get ready for the procedure while lying on your left side, you will be asked to bring your knees toward your chest. Once in the proper position, your doctor will begin by performing a gentle finger examination of the rectum wearing a clean, lubricated glove.
Then the sigmoidoscope will be placed inside your rectum. You will feel a little pressure when this occurs.
The entire large intestine, or colon, is five to six feet in length. Your doctor will only look at the last one to two feet of your colon during the flexible sigmoidoscopy. The sigmoidoscope is slowly moved up through the rectum and lower colon. As this happens, the lining of the intestine is examined carefully on the video screen.
To help move the tube forward, your doctor may send a small quantity of air through the sigmoidocope to expand your colon. Depending on what is found during the procedure, your doctor may perform several painless procedures through the sigmoidoscope. For example, if your doctor sees an area that looks suspicious, a biopsy, or small sample of tissue, may be taken.
When the procedure is finished, your doctor will slowly take out the sigmoidoscope. The procedure usually last for five to fifteen minutes.