Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a procedure used to see inside the sigmoid colon and rectum (lower part of large bowel). It can detect inflamed tissue, ulcers, abnormal growths, or signs of cancer. Sigmoidoscopy is done for unexplained changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain, bleeding from the anus, and weight loss. Colonoscopy is the preferred screening method for cancers of the colon and rectum; however, to prepare for and perform a flexible sigmoidoscopy usually requires less time.
One or more enemas ( by flushing water, laxative, or mild soap solution) into the anus are given about 2 hours before the procedure to remove all solids from the sigmoid colon.
In some cases, the entire gastrointestinal tract must be emptied — similar to the preparation for colonoscopy. Patients should not drink beverages containing red or purple dye for 1-3 days before. Acceptable liquids include-
Fat-free bouillon or broth
Strained fruit juice
Laxative or enema may be required the night before.
Patients should inform their doctor of all medical conditions and any medications.
During a flexible sigmoidoscopy, patients lie on their left side on an examination table. The doctor inserts a long, flexible, lighted tube into the anus and slowly guides it through the rectum and into the sigmoid colon. Video image from inside can be viewed on a monitor by a camera.
Polyps can be removed and biopsy of abnormal growth can be taken for histpathological examination for signs of cancer.
If polyps or other abnormal tissues are found examination of rest of the colon by a colonoscopy can be suggested.
Causes of piles are constipation and excessive straining during bowel movement. There are several theories, including inadequate intake of fiber, and prolonged sitting on the toilet. Pregnancy is a cause of enlarged hemorrhoids.