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Department of Internal Medicine

Department of Internal Medicine

Instructions for flexible sigmoidoscopy

Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your appointment for registration. If you are unable to keep your appointment, you must cancel at least 48 hours in advance or you will be referred back to your primary care physician.

During the flexible sigmoidoscopy exam, your doctor will use a flexible tube called an endoscope which contains a light and a video camera to look at the walls of the lower part of your colon.

PLEASE FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY AND COMPLETELY:

  • If you take medicine to thin your blood (Heparin, Coumadin, Plavix, Warfarin), your primary care doctor must tell you how many days before the procedure you must stop taking your medication. In some cases, your doctor may want you to continue to take the medication but you must check with your doctor first.
  • If you are diabetic and using insulin or are taking oral diabetic medications, contact your primary care doctor for instructions on adjusting these medications for the day of your procedure.
  • You may take your blood pressure and heart medication as usual the morning of the procedure with a sip of water.
  • Do NOT take ibuprofen (Motrin), Advil, Aleve, Naprosyn, aspirin or medications containing aspirin or NSAIDs (Vioxx, Celebrex) for 5 days prior to your procedure.

Your lower colon must be completely empty for the flexible sigmoidoscopy to be thorough and safe. To prepare for the procedure you must do the following:

  1. Start a clear liquid diet the day before your procedure. You may have clear liquids for breakfast and/or lunch on the day of your procedure. Clear liquids are liquids that you can see through such as water, coffee, tea, broth, soda, Jell-O, clear juices, popsicles and Gatorade, but NO RED COLORS.
  2. Obtain two Fleets enemas from your pharmacy. They are packaged in a green and white container, and usually cost about $1.00 each. Administer the enemas to yourself prior to your procedure. The first enema should be given 2 hours before your appointment and the second enema one hour before your procedure.

If you have any questions, please call the GI office at (916) 734-2890, Monday - Friday between 6:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

After hours, call (916) 734-2011 and ask for the GI Fellow on-call.