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Sigmoid Preparation Instructions

Preparing for Your Procedure at WTMF in Fremont

A sigmoidoscopy allows your doctor to examine the sigmoid colon for colon and rectal cancer. This exam involves a narrow, flexible tube inserted through the anus. Your doctor will ask you to clean out your colon prior to a flexible sigmoidoscopy exam.

Some of the instructions your doctor may ask you to observe include the following:

  • Observe a special diet the day before your appointment – In most cases, your doctor will ask you not to eat the day before you get your exam. You must only drink clear liquids such as plain water, carbonated beverages, and broth. Coffee and tea are allowed but must be consumed black. Once you reach midnight the night before your exam, you will be asked not to eat or drink anything.
  • Take a laxative pill / liquid – Your doctor may ask you to take a laxative in pill or liquid form the night before your sigmoidoscopy exam.
  • Buy and use an over-the-counter enema kit – Your doctor may ask you to use an over-the-counter enema kit the night before your scheduled exam or a few hours prior to the exam in order to clean out your colon; or you may be asked to take two enemas the morning of the exam before arriving for your appointment.
  • Tell your doctor about your medications – Your doctor may ask you to adjust your medications and / or dosages prior to a sigmoidoscopy. This includes medications for diabetes, blood thinners, and iron supplements.
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