Getting Ready for Flexible Sigmoidoscopy with Sedation
What is a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy?
A flexible sigmoidoscopy is a test to look at the lower part of your large bowel. This test can be used to find the cause of rectal bleeding or abdominal pain.
Important – Read 1 week in advance.
Procedure may be cancelled if instructions are not followed
1. 7 days before, you should stop taking the blood thinner Effient® (prasugrel).
2. 5 days before, you should stop taking:
- Blood thinners, such as Coumadin® (warfarin) or Plavix® (clopidogrel).
3. 2 days before, you should stop taking the blood thinner Pradaxa® (dabigatran).
Blood thinning pills should never be stopped without discussing this with the doctor who prescribes it for you. The doctor will give you instructions on how to safely do this. Contact us if you have questions.
4. Diabetic medicines (oral and insulin) will need to be adjusted for
the time you’re not eating as normal. Please discuss this with your primary
5. You must have a responsible adult to drive you home or your
procedure will be cancelled. You may take a cab or bus home only if
you have a responsible adult with you other than the driver.
6 Plan ahead. For your test you will be given sedatives which can
greatly affect your judgment. On the day of your test, you will not be able to drive or return to work. Do not make important personal or business decisions until the next day.
7 Our staff will need to review your health history, prior surgeries, allergies,
and medicines taken. Please bring this information with you.
8. If you use CPAP or BiPAP for sleep apnea, please bring it with you. We will
need your machine in order to sedate you safely.
9. If you have an implanted pacemaker or defibrillator, we will need specific information about it before your procedure day. If you haven't already given us this information, please call us during business hours (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday) at (608) 263-8097. Ask to speak to the Procedure Coordinator
Day of the Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
- No solid food, milk, or dairy products until after your test.
- You may drink clear liquids until 4 hours before you arrive (ex: water, apple juice, soda, Gatorade®). Avoid red liquids.
- Take your normal medicines with a small sip of clear liquid up to 1 hour before you arrive. Do not take the pills and supplements mentioned under “Getting Ready.”
- Follow the arrival and registration instructions in your cover letter. if you are delayed, call us at (608) 890-5000 to let us know you are going to be late. if you are over 30 minutes late, we may have to cancel and reschedule. We do our best to stay on time.
- Plan to be with us about 2 hours. Your driver will need to be available in our waiting room or by phone.
The Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
A nurse will review your health history and place an IV. The IV is used for sedation during your procedure. You will be given 2 small enemas. The test will take 15 – 30 minutes. You will then go to our Recovery Room for about an hour. Your driver may sit with you there. Once awake, you will be given something to drink. Your doctor will discuss results with you before discharge. You and the doctor who referred you will receive a copy of the report.
After the Flexible Sigmoidoscopy and for the Rest of the Day
- Do not return to work.
- Do not drive.
- Do not use hazardous machinery.
- Do not make any important decisions.
- Plan to rest after you leave the hospital.
- Do not drink alcohol.
You should be able to resume normal daily tasks on the day after your procedure.
You may have some gas pains from the air used to distend your colon. As you pass the air your gas pains should go away.
Digestive Health Center, 8am to 5pm weekdays, (608) 890-5000.
After clinic hours, please call (608) 890-5000. Give your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.
If you live outside of the Madison area, please call 1-855-342-9900.
UW Health Digestive Health Center
750 University Row
University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics
GI Procedure Clinic
600 Highland Avenue
Meriter Hospital Digestive Health Center
202 S. Park Street
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 04/24/2013
Copyright © 04/10/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6257
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