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Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Information & FAQ


What is a sigmoidoscopy?

A sigmoidoscopy, also called flexible sigmoidoscopy (flex sig), is a medical procedure that helps doctors determine whether a gastrointestinal problem is an underlying condition behind symptoms like persistent diarrhea or abdominal pain. Flexible sigmoidoscopy could also be used as a colorectal cancer screening tool. During the sigmoidoscopy, your Gotham Gastroenterology physician uses a special tool called a sigmoidoscope to look into your lower colon and rectum. At the end of the sigmoidoscope, there is a small camera and light that projects onto a screen for your doctor to examine. In addition to its diagnostic uses, a sigmoidoscopy could also help your doctor to navigate through your colon or lower intestine during minimally invasive surgery.

Why is flexible sigmoidoscopy used?

Flexible sigmoidoscopy may be recommended if your doctor suspects one of the following digestive conditions:


What is involved in a flexible sigmoidoscopy?

Before Your Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

Flexible sigmoidoscopy prep at Gotham Gastroenterology begins with your doctor walking you through specific instructions on how to prepare before the day of your procedure. This may include making changes to your diet in the hours leading up to your procedure. Talk with your doctor about your current medications to ensure that you will not need to make any adjustments.

During Your Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

During the procedure, you’ll lay down on your left side and will have the option to use sedatives during the treatment. You may feel some pressure, cramping, or bloating during the procedure, but these typically go away within a few moments after the procedure is over. As the sigmoidoscope moves through your colon and rectum, your doctor is able to see any abnormalities or obstructions clearly on a screen.

What if my flexible sigmoidoscopy shows abnormal results?

After your flexible sigmoidoscopy, your doctor will review your results and let you know about any concerns or abnormal findings. Once an abnormality or condition is discovered, your doctor can begin to give you options for treatment and management.

What are the benefits of having a sigmoidoscopy at Gotham Gastroenterology?

Some of the many benefits of entrusting our doctors at Gotham Gastroenterology with your flexible sigmoidoscopy procedure include the following:

  • Sedation available during the procedure
  • Short, in-office procedure
  • Little discomfort
  • Minimal downtime
  • Detects numerous serious health issues including colon cancer
  • Safe and comfortable setting
  • Minimally invasive


For more information or to book an appointment with Gotham Gastroenterology, contact our office at 212-794-0240. Our team of experts strives to provide excellence in gastroenterology for patients in NYC. You can also make an appointment by filling out a form.

Procedure Instructions

Sigmoidoscopy Instructions

Patient Escort Policy

Patient Education Videos

In the following educational videos about upper endoscopy and colonoscopy, ASGE doctors walk viewers through both procedures featuring real patients – from preparation instructions to what happens during the procedures and what to expect after the exams. Click on the links below to watch videos.


Upper Endoscopy