A flexible sigmoidoscopy normally only takes 15 minutes if no abnormalities are found, according to the Mayo Clinic. The patient lies on his side, with his knees pulled towards his chest. A small amount of air is pumped into the colon with the sigmoidoscope to allow a better view.Continue Reading
The sigmoidoscope itself is thin, flexible and has a small camera on the tip, according to Mayo Clinic. Most often, patients do not require any type of sedation or medication for a sigmoidoscopy. When the sigmoidoscope is inserted into the rectum or moved, it is common for patients to feel slight abdominal cramps or have the urge to use the restroom. The doctor gently moves the sigmoidoscope and views the inner colon and rectum on a monitor. If any abnormalities are seen, a special tool is inserted through the sigmoidoscope, and a biopsy may be taken or the doctor may schedule a colonoscopy for a later date.
When the exam is over, patients often feel abdominal discomfort and the need to pass gas, according to Mayo Clinic. This is the body's normal response to clear the air that is in the colon. Some people have a small amount of blood in their stool when they use the restroom following an exam. A small amount is normal, but continuous bleeding and blood clots, abdominal pain that does not go away and fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit should be reported to the doctor immediately.Learn more about Diagnostics & Imaging