Rigid Sigmoidoscopy

What is a Sigmoidoscopy?

This is an examination of back passage, rectum, with a small tube which doesn’t require anaesthetic, but pain relief is offered if required.

What does it involve?

The endoscopist will pass a small tube through the rectum to view the inside of the bowel area. If necessary, tissue samples known as biopsies, will be taken, this not cause any pain.

Preparation for the procedure

Please remember to read your consent form and bring with you to the appointment, you will also have to take some suppositories.

Can I eat & drink?

Yes, you can eat and drink as normal on the day of your procedure.

Medication restrictions

If you have either Fentanyl or Midazolam, certain restrictions apply
following your procedure. For 24 hours following your procedure
you must not:

  • Drive a motor vehicle
  • Operate machinery including a cooker
  • Drink alcohol
  • Sign any legal documents

You will require an escort home if you have had medication.


If you have sedation or pain relief, you will need to stay a short while in the unit until the effects have worn off.

We recommend eating a high fibre cereal for breakfast and at least 3 pieces of fruit per day, in addition to a high fluid intake of at least 8 mugs of fluid per day.

After your procedure, you will receive your results, and be free to go home within a few minutes. Any samples will be sent directly to your own doctor, however the results will be discussed with you and you will receive a copy of the report to take home.

Can I return to work?

You should rest for the remainder of the day, and plan to have 2-3 days off from work after the procedure, especially if it involves heavy lifting or standing for long periods of time. If you need advice on this please contact the Unit to discuss any issues prior to your appointment.

If you are travelling abroad within the next 4 weeks following this procedure, due to travel medical insurance difficulties it may be appropriate to postpone treatment until you return home.



After examining your lower bowel, if necessary the endoscopist will treat your haemorrhoids by applying 3 or 4 rubber bands above the haemorrhoids in your rectum. Once applied, the bands cut off the blood supply to the haemorrhoids, which then shrink away. This method is often used for larger haemorrhoids.


Some haemorrhoids are best treated with an injection of phenol into the rectum above the haemorrhoids. This shrivels the blood supply to the haemorrhoids which in turn shrink.

Can I take my usual medication?

Yes it is important that you continue to take your medication as normal.

Patients who are taking Warfarin, Clopidogrel or other Anticoagulants are not suitable to receive haemorrhoid treatment in the Community Setting. Patients taking any of these drugs, need their GP to refer them to the Local Hospital for haemorrhoid treatment.

How to administer the suppositories

Approximately an hour and a half prior to your appointment you will need to insert the 2 glycerine suppositories to remove any stools which may obscure the endoscopists view.

  • Remove suppositories from plastic covering
  • Put on the gloves provided
  • Moisten suppositories in warm water (not hot)
  • Insert suppositories into your back passage, rectum.
  • Please hold the suppositories in your back passage for a minimum of 20 minutes or for as long as possible.