You have been referred to us by your doctor for a sigmoidoscopy (proctoscopy). During the procedure, samples may be taken or for example, bleeding may be staunched. We would like to explain how this procedure works and what you need to know as a patient: Sigmoidoscopy is an examination of the anal canal and the rectum. In contrast, anoscopy only investigates the anal canal.
Please fast before the examination, which will take place under anaesthesia (propofol). You must not eat for 6 hours before the appointment, you may drink up until 4 hours before your appointment. For an examination of the anal canal and rectum, we will give you a small enema or suppository about 20 minutes before the examination to ensure the lower digestive tract is ideally prepared for the investigation.
Please bring a list of all the medication you take regularly to the appointment. If you take blood-thinning medication, you need to advise us of this at least one week in advance. If you inject yourself with insulin, you should omit the dose before the examination and bring the result of a finger prick blood test. If you are unsure, please get in touch with us.
You can expect your appointment to last about 1–1.5 hours if you are coming for a proctoscopy. After a preliminary discussion with the doctor, your examination will take place in the endoscopy room and last about 10–15 minutes. To examine the anal canal (anoscopy), a plastic or metal tube as thick as a finger is used with a fitted light. For the rectal examination, a flexible tube (endoscope) is used that will be passed through your intestine. It is fitted with a light and camera at one end.
Both examinations are performed under anaesthesia (propofol), which means you will be asleep for the procedure. You will wake up quickly after the examination and can rest in the recovery room before having a follow-up discussion with the doctor and returning home. Please note that you must not drive or operate machinery following this procedure. Please therefore arrange for someone to collect you at the end of your appointment.
It is possible for both examinations to be performed while you are conscious. You will not experience pain and the advantage to this is that you may drive afterwards.