Lakeview Health System
Preparing for Your Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
Print Flexible Sigmoidoscopy instructions. 

Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a procedure in which a physician examines the lining of your large intestine by looking through a flexible tube called a colonoscope. If growths or other abnormalities are found during the procedure, the physician may remove the abnormal tissue for closer examination or biopsy.

If you have any questions or need to cancel your appointment, please contact our scheduling office at 651-430-8701. We are open Monday through Friday, 8am-4pm.

Please remember to arrange for a responsible adult licensed driver to accompany you home. You will not be allowed to take a taxi or other transportation service. If you do not have an adult escort your procedure will be canceled and rescheduled. Please review the preparation schedule below for the days preceding your colonoscopy. If you need further assistance, please call our scheduling office at (651) 430-8701.

7 Days Before

  • Purchase (over-the-counter) 2 bottles of adult sodium phosphate enema (Fleet Enema).
  • If you take iron or fish oil or fiber supplements, discontinue these 7 days before your appointment.
  • If you are diabetic, refer to yellow Diabetic Guidelines insert.
  • If you take blood thinners and have not discussed this with us, please call our office 651-430-8701. Hold aspirin on procedure day.


1 Day Before

Begin a clear liquid diet:

  • You can have water, clear broth or bouillon, coffee, tea (no milk or creamer), Gatorade, pedialyte, soft drinks, jello, popsicles, hard candy, and fruit juice (apple, white cranberry, white grape). NO RED or PURPLE liquids.
  • No alcohol today.

Drink at least 8-8 oz (64 oz) glasses of water today.

Procedure Day

Continue clear liquid diet:

  • 1-1/2 hours before leaving for your appointment, give yourself one soft tipped enema according to the directions on the box. Hold it for 5-10 minutes. Go to the bathroom, expel the enema. Immediately repeat the second enema, again holding it for 5-10 minutes.
  • You may take morning medications (except aspirin) with a sip of water.
  • Please do not wear fragrant perfumes or lotions today.
  • Bring your insurance card and photo ID.
  • If you are passing clear or yellow liquid, you are ready for the exam. If you are unsure if your colon is clean, call us at 651-430-8701
  • You must have a driver to accompany you home and sign your discharge instructions. You cannot drive the remainder of the day, and should not return to work.
  • If you have a CPAP for sleep apnea, plan to use while napping today because of sedation medications you have received.

If you have any questions, please contact our Registered Nurse Endoscopy Admissions Coordinator in our scheduling office at (651) 430-8701. We are open Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.


Arrival at Lakeview Hospital

  • Please park in the blue lot and check into admitting, located inside the main entrance of the hospital. If you are unable to keep your scheduled appointment, please call our Endoscopy Department as soon as possible at 651-430-8701.


During your Procedure

  • A physician and specially trained registered nurse will be with you throughout the procedure.
  • You will be given medication to relax you and minimize discomfort. Be sure to let your nurse and/or physician know if you are uncomfortable so we can adjust your medication.
  • The physician may do a biopsy (taking tiny pieces of tissue from your colon) or a polypectomy (surrounding and burning off a polyp or small growth on the lining of your colon) depending on what he/she sees.

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After your Procedure

  • You will be asked to rest for approximately 30 minutes after your procedure.
  • Your family/friend will be allowed to visit.
  • Your physician and/or registered nurse will discuss the results of your procedure with you.
  • If specimens were taken during the procedure they will be sent to the lab and you will be contacted with the results in 7-14 days.
  • Your nurse will review discharge instructions with you and your responsible caregiver and address any questions or concerns.
  • If you wish to be contacted by a registered nurse the next business day to check on how you are doing after your procedure, please provide us with a contact number (home or work).
  • After your procedure you cannot drive for the remainder of the day.