Flexible Sigmoidoscopy in Tulsa, OK

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A flexible sigmoidoscopy is an endoscopic procedure wherein a long, thin, bendable tube, or “scope,” is placed into the rectum and then progressed throughout the lower section of the colon. This procedure does have some limitations, as only the lower section of the colon can be seen. The scope is equipped with a light and a camera which allows the specialist to analyze the colon's lining. A sigmoidoscopy could be used to identify:

  • Bleeding from the rectum
  • The origin of GI symptoms like:
    • Loose or watery stools
    • Abdominal pain
    • Unusual x-ray outcomes
  • To screen for colon cancer and polyps

Our GI providers conduct flexible sigmoidoscopies for Tulsa, OK patients. If you are dealing with any worrisome GI symptoms such as those listed above, contact an Adult Gastroenterology Associates location near you to be assessed for a flexible sigmoidoscopy.

Your provider will give you instructions on the required bowel prep that needs to be completed before your procedure. The majority of individuals will be able to have clear liquids for the entire day before the flexible sigmoidoscopy. There are different options for laxatives to clean out the colon. It is important to adhere to the instructions provided to you by your Adult Gastroenterology Associates gastroenterologist. Most of the time, any medications will be continued as usual. However, if you are prescribed blood thinners (i.e. Plavix®, Coumadin®, warfarin, aspirin, NSAIDs) or are diabetic, individual instructions will be provided. You will be directed not to consume anything by mouth after midnight with the exception of some medications.

You will be instructed to enter the endoscopy center an hour to an hour and a half before your flexible sigmoidoscopy. This will ensure adequate time to complete paperwork and get prepared for the procedure. You'll be asked to change into a hospital gown. In most cases, no IV will be started since sedation is not typically administered for this exam. You may be connected to equipment that will allow the staff and provider to monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, pulse, electrocardiogram, breathing, and oxygen level throughout and after the procedure.

After you are inside the exam room, you'll be asked to lie on your left on the exam table. The provider will carry out an exam of your rectum. The sigmoidoscope will then be carefully placed into the rectum. The scope will then be slowly advanced through the sigmoid colon. A tiny bit of air is injected by way of the tube into the colon to help the physician see. Any fluid remaining in the colon post preparation can be rinsed and suctioned out by the scope. Pending on the results of the test, several procedures can be performed at the time of the exam including removal of polyps, control of bleeding, and biopsies. At the end of the exam, as much of the air and remaining fluid as possible is suctioned out of the colon via the scope. Depending on the findings, the procedure takes approximately 5 – 15 minutes to conduct.

Once the procedure is concluded, you will be discharged from the endoscopy center. In most cases sedation is not used, so you'll be allowed to perform your normal activities, as well as drive. Most individuals are free to eat and drink normally after their discharge from the endoscopy center, however, unique guidelines in regard to eating, medication, and activities will be given to you in advance of discharge. Following the exam, the provider and/or nurse will review the results of the procedure with you. You will also go home with a written report. If you are awaiting biopsy results, you should receive them in seven days or less.

Ordinarily, sigmoidoscopy is a very safe procedure. Negative side effects are seen in less than 1% of cases. Typically, complications are minor. If you do experience a complication, a hospital stay and surgery may be required. Ahead of the procedure, a consent form will be discussed with you by the nursing staff. Should any questions or concerns arise, these may be reviewed with your provider before the beginning of the procedure.

Bleeding could occur with biopsies and the removal of polyps. To reiterate, significant bleeding which might involve a blood transfusion or hospitalization is very uncommon. Still, bleeding can happen at the time of the test or as long as two weeks after the procedure if a polyp is removed.

Puncture or perforation of the large intestine is also a risk. This could be identified at the time of the procedure, or it may not become apparent until a short time later. In most cases, a puncture will require hospitalization and surgery. This is an uncommon complication, even when polyps are removed. It is of the utmost importance that you contact your provider's office immediately if symptoms like growing abdominal pain, fever, or bleeding occur after your procedure.

Like any other exam, a sigmoidoscopy is not without risk. There is a slight, acknowledged chance that tissue abnormalities, including polyps and cancers, could be overlooked during the procedure. It is crucial to continue to follow up with your providers as advised and inform them of any new or persistent symptoms. Please contact you Adult Gastroenterology Associates provider if you have any questions or concerns.

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Any alternatives to the procedure will depend on why you need a flexible sigmoidoscopy to begin with. There are different x-rays that can look at the colon, including a barium enema or virtual CT scan. However, these tests are diagnostic exams only. Treatment of any identified abnormalities will need a colonoscopy, surgery, or sigmoidoscopy. To learn more about a flexible sigmoidoscopy in Tulsa, OK or to discuss any alternatives for diagnosis and treatment of your condition, please contact our GI team.

A flexible sigmoidoscopy could help identify the cause of uncomfortable gastroenterology symptoms like diarrhea, bleeding, and abdominal pain. If you are exhibiting any of these listed symptoms, contact an experienced gastroenterology provider at your earliest convenience. You can connect with a gastroenterology provider at an Adult Gastroenterology Associates location near you. Our organization works to provide the utmost in patient-centered care and clinical standards. To learn more about receiving a flexible sigmoidoscopy in Tulsa, OK or another endoscopic test, connect with our providers today.

They were professional and made me feel very comfortable. They asked me a lot of questions about my condition and provided me with options. And as I left the doctor walked me all the way to the door and opened it for me. Go the extra mile.

A.V. Google

Professional and efficient at the highest level!

B.L. Google

Dr. Conkling was very in depth and informative with everything and I felt comfortable leaving there without a thousand more questions left unanswered! Also a very nice person!

K.M. Google

Dr Patel is a very caring Dr……He explains everything very well, making me feel like I am his most important patient. I highly recommend Dr Patel.

D.K. Google

Dr. Blonsky and the staff of AGA are quite friendly and very professional.

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