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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A flexible sigmoidoscopy is a procedure to look inside your rectum and sigmoid colon. The sigmoid colon is the lower part of your intestines, closest to your rectum. A sigmoidoscope will be inserted into your rectum. This is a soft, bendable tube with a light and tiny camera on the end. Pictures of your colon appear on a monitor during the procedure. A flexible sigmoidoscopy may help diagnose colon diseases, inflammation, polyps (growths), or infections.
Seek care immediately if:
- You are not able to have a bowel movement.
- You have blood in your bowel movement.
- Your vomit has blood or bile (yellow or green fluid) in it.
- Your abdomen becomes tender and hard.
Call your doctor if:
- You have a fever.
- You feel full or bloated a few days after the procedure.
- Your signs and symptoms get worse.
- You have nausea or are vomiting.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
You may need any of the following:
- Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
- Bowel movement softeners make it easier for you to have a bowel movement. You may need this medicine to prevent constipation.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
- Eat a variety of healthy foods. Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, and fish. Ask if you need to be on a special diet. Your healthcare provider may recommend you eat foods that are high in fiber.
- Drink liquids as directed. Ask your healthcare provider how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you.
- Exercise as directed. Exercise such as walking can help your bowels work more easily. Ask your healthcare provider about the best exercise plan for you.
Follow up with your doctor as directed:
Ask when you should expect the results from your procedure. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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