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General enquiries:
+44 (0)207 935 4444
Book an appointment:
+44 (0)207 616 7693
Self-pay enquiry:
+44 (0)203 219 3315

What is a flexible sigmoidoscopy?

A flexible sigmoidoscopy is a procedure to look at the inside of the left, lower part of your colon (large bowel) using a flexible telescope.

Figure showing a flexible sigmoidoscopy

What are the benefits of a flexible sigmoidoscopy?

If the endoscopist (the person doing the sigmoidoscopy) finds a problem, they can perform biopsies (removing small pieces of tissue) to help make the diagnosis.

Sometimes a polyp (small growth) is the cause of the problem and the endoscopist may be able to remove it during the procedure.

Are there any alternatives to a flexible sigmoidoscopy?

Other options include a barium enema (an x-ray test of your large bowel) or a CT colography (a scan of your large bowel).

What does the procedure involve?

A flexible sigmoidoscopy usually takes 15 to 20 minutes.

You will not usually need a sedative. However, if the endoscopist recommends that you have a sedative, they will give it to you through a small needle in your arm or the back of your hand.

The endoscopist will place a flexible telescope into your back passage. Air will be blown into your large bowel to help the endoscopist have a clear view.

The endoscopist will be able to look for problems such as inflammation or polyps. They will be able to perform biopsies and take photographs to help make the diagnosis.

What complications can happen?

Some of these can be serious and can even cause death.

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Allergic reaction
  • Infection
  • Making a hole in your colon
  • Bleeding from a biopsy site or from minor damage caused by the telescope
  • Bleeding, if a polyp is removed
  • Incomplete procedure

How soon will I recover?

If you were given a sedative, you will first be transferred to the recovery area where you can rest and have a drink. You will usually recover in about an hour but this depends on how much sedative you were given. You may feel a bit bloated for a few hours but this will pass.

You should be able to return to work the next day unless you are told otherwise.

The healthcare team will tell you what was found during the flexible sigmoidoscopy and discuss with you any treatment or follow-up you need.

Regular exercise should improve your long-term health. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

Why choose The London Clinic?

The London Clinic is dedicated to providing the best, personalised healthcare with over 600 world- renowned consultants available to offer informed health advice and treatment.

Spanning Harley Street and Devonshire Place, The London Clinic is situated in the heart of London’s internationally-known medical district. This central location, together with state-of-the art technologies and facilities that are not widely available in other hospitals, makes The London Clinic the hospital of choice for around 120,000 patients every year.

The London Clinic is an HTA licensed and JACIE accredited cancer centre with an ‘Excellent’ MacMillan Quality Environment Mark and with access to a Level 3 intensive care unit.

Offering affordable and competitive self-pay packages and expert support from Clinical Nurse Specialists and our specialised multidisciplinary team, over 98% of our patients said they would recommend The London Clinic to their friends and families.

Sigmoidoscopy TREATMENT COST

The London Clinic offers affordable, competitive self-pay packages for certain treatments. An All-inclusive package for this treatment is available from £1, 545.

Please call +44 (0)20 3219 3315 to speak to our helpful team to find out more and to book an appointment.

Summary

A flexible sigmoidoscopy is usually a safe and effective way of finding out if there is a problem with the lower part of your large bowel.

Disclaimer

The operation and treatment information on this website is published under license by The London Clinic from EIDO Healthcare UK and is protected by copyright laws. Other than for your personal, non-commercial use, you may not copy, print out, download or otherwise reproduce any of the information. The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

mEDICAL aDMISSIONS

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Facilitating acute admissions into The London Clinic whilst maintaining the highest levels of safety and care, supported by a consultant on-call rota.

Concierge service

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We can support our patients with travel, hotel accommodation, London tours, plus theatre and restaurant reservations.

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Main numbers

General enquiries: 020 7935 4444 Appointments: 020 7616 7693 Self-pay: 020 3219 3315

Other numbers

Concierge service: 020 3219 3323International office: 020 3 219 3266Invoice and payment enquiries: 020 7616 7708

Your call may be recorded for training and monitoring purposes.

Medical service numbers

Breast services appointments: 020 7616 7653 Diagnostics appointments: 020 7616 7653 Endoscopy appointments: 020 7616 7760 Eye centre appointments: 020 7616 7768 Haematology appointments: 020 7535 5503 Kidney services appointments: 020 7224 5234 Liver services appointments: 020 7616 7719 Physiotherapy appointments: 020 7616 7651 Radiology appointments: 020 7616 7653

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