Flexible Sigmoidoscopy and IRC
If you're 50 or over, the American Cancer Society recommends having this test every 3 to 5 years.
Flexible sigmoidscopy is a procedure that is used to view the lower colon. This test can screen for colon cancer. It can also help find the source of abdominal pain, bleeding, and a change in bowel habits. A flexible tube with a viewing lens and light is used for this purpose.
During the Test:
- The test is done in the doctor's office or in a hospital. endoscopy unit. You may wear a gown or a drape over your lower body.
- The procedure takes 15 minutes or longer.
- The doctor performs a digital rectal exam to check for anal and rectal problems. The rectum is lubricated and the scope inserted.
- You may feel as if you have to have a bowel movement during the test. Do not be alarmed. It’s okay to pass some gas during the procedure to get relief.
After the Test
- Usually you'll discuss the results with your doctor right away, unless you're having other tests.
- Try to pass all the gas right after the test. Otherwise you may have bloating and cramping.
- After the test you can go back to your normal eating and other activities.
When to Call Your Doctor
Call if you have any of the following after the procedure:
- Pain in your abdomen
- Excessive rectal bleeding (slight bleeding or spotting is okay).