Sigmoidoscopy in Arizona

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The last portion of the large intestines before the rectum is called the sigmoid colon. Flexible sigmoidoscopy allows our providers to examine the rectum and lower portion of the colon using a lighted, flexible tube with a camera on the end called a sigmoidoscope. The sigmoidoscope is used to check for abnormalities and take samples for biopsies if necessary. A flexible sigmoidoscopy can be used as a preventive screening measure for colon cancer. It is recommended as a method of colorectal cancer screening for patients 45 and over. The procedure also can be used to help identify and treat symptoms like abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, and blood in stool. If you need a regular colon cancer screening in Phoenix, AZ or if you are experiencing troubling symptoms related to your GI tract, the flexible sigmoidoscopy could be recommended for you. Contact Arizona Digestive Health to request a consultation.

Specific instructions will be given to you in order to cleanse the bowels before your sigmoidoscopy examination. It is important for these instructions to be followed carefully to ensure your colon is well-prepared. Please bring a list of medications and their dosage and be sure to advise your provider of any allergies you have to medications. If you are on blood thinners or take aspirin, please advise your healthcare provider of this as they may need to be temporarily discontinued or modified.

During your sigmoidoscopy in Phoenix, AZ, you will be asked to lie on your left side. Next, your healthcare provider will place the sigmoidoscope into your rectum and advance it to examine the colon. You may experience some cramping or gas from the air that is introduced through the scope during the procedure and you may feel slight discomfort when the instrument negotiates turns or bends in the colon. The exam may take around 15 minutes or longer depending on whether biopsies are taken.

Following the exam, you may feel bloated or experience mild cramping as the air that was introduced into your colon during the procedure is released. If no anesthesia was administered, you should be able to resume your normal activities the same day. When your sigmoidoscopy is complete, your healthcare provider will explain their findings. If biopsies were taken, your physician may suggest an appointment or follow-up call for when the results have returned from the lab.

The flexible sigmoidoscopy is generally safe and considered low risk. Possible complications include perforation of the bowel wall, which would allow leakage of intestinal fluids. Should this complication arise, it may require surgery to correct. Any sites of biopsy or polyp removal may bleed, but this usually stops on its own or can be controlled with cauterization through the sigmoidoscope. Transfusion or surgery is rarely required. Irritation of the vein where medications are administered may occur, and reactions to drugs may also occur even with careful review of a patient's medical history. As with any test, there is a risk that pathology may be missed which may lead to an error in diagnosis. Even so, the flexible sigmoidoscopy in Phoenix, AZ is an effective tool for diagnosing conditions and screening for colorectal cancer. Talk to your provider at Arizona Digestive Health if you have further questions about possible risks.

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Flexible sigmoidoscopy offers patients a method of colorectal cancer screening and investigating abnormal symptoms related to the GI tract. Our gastroenterologists in Phoenix, AZ frequently walk patients through this effective exam. Request a consultation at a nearby Arizona Digestive Health location to learn more about this and other widely used methods of screening for colorectal cancer. Our providers aim to offer patient-centric care that makes the flexible sigmoidoscopy a positive experience with minimal discomfort.

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