Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

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I've just received an appointment, through the post, to attend for day surgery! It's got no details of what it's for but it does have the name of my consultant! Imy guessing it must be for the Flexible Sigmoidoscopy as at my last appointment to have this done I was told it would have to be done under General anaesthetic, apparently I'm completely closed down there! Has anyone else had this done and what does it entail please? To say I'm terrified is a huge understatement! 

Moira x

  • Moira, I had anal stretching under GA done late last year to try and ease my anal stenosis.  Prior to that I had a sigmoidoscopy along with sedation.  I was really bracing myself for the sigmoidoscopy but in the event it really was ok and over very quickly. I think the tube they use is really quite small in diameter (about 1cm) and they use lots of gel and lubrication.  After the anal stretching I felt tender and had some bleeding but it wasn't anything I couldn't cope with.  Of course, I have never been told that I am completely closed, but all the teams treating me know that I find the examinations a bit of an ordeal.

    I will be keeping everything crossed that it all goes very smoothly, and I would alert them as to how apprehensive you are.

    Sending a big hug

    Irene xx

  • Thanks Irene! I went for the procedure a week ago, all geared up for it and a lovely nurse standing by with gas and air! They were lovely, explained exactly what it involved but then couldn't go ahead because they said I was closed completely! Now I've got this letter, no explained or anything, just told to report to the day unit and not to eat from midnight the day before! I ask you, wouldn't anyone panic, never mind a scaredy cat like me? It's why they wanted the procedure done in the first place, I know they want to look at the small bowel but it's what they might find when they look! Honestly, 74 years old and I'm like a scared kid again! I know it has to be done but have you ever felt like running away and hiding? It's such a big help to know I have support on here, my family are lovely but no matter how they try, they don't ' get it'! 

    Thank you Irene

    Moira xx

  • I frequently feel like running away and hiding!  The peculiar thing is the more I see of hospitals the more nervous I get.  It is the same with investigations, they get me all wound up, and cannulas - sometimes I pass out as they fiddle around trying to find a vein. 

    You aren't alone Moira!


  • Wow, Moira, I'd be skittering about like a baby bird! I'd call them right away and demand a few more details.

    I'm getting an EUA in a couple of weeks, for the anoscopy that I can't bear when awake. The last time was a breeze compared to trying to do it in the office, but I was in a lot of pain for a 2-3 weeks afterwards, my poor perineal skin bruised black. But it's the only way I can do it.

    I didn't have the added layer of angst by having the passage close entirely, although there's certainly stenosis.

    Hang tough and let us know what they say!



  • I had the operation last week and the good news is, nothing was found! The anethastist came to talk to me after the operation but no sign of the surgeon! Apparently he'll write to me to explain what he HAS done!

    Oh well, it's over and I've got the good news, the rest can wait!

    One other thing, my poor sore bum,! I've tried the doughnut, no good for me, I'm afraid! I'm virtually bed bound! I can't hardly walk because of waiting for next hip replacement! I went downstairs for a few hours last night but the painful skin is terrible! Can anyone remember the numbing cream that was recommended? I'm desperate, I might even have to go to see the GP!

    Thanks for listening everyone, sorry I'm still moaning!


  • Moan all you like Moira! That’s what we are here for. Glad your results from the surgery was good news and you can almost say the pain is worth that. I am trying to think of the numbing cream you are on about and wondering if you mean the one that are in the syringes which is called instagel. I was also given lidocaine cream which helped to numb the pain and itching 


  • Hi Julie,

    Believe me, the pain after the operation was almost welcome, I was on such a high finding out that there was no further treatment needed for that, at least!

    But this skin thing has got me beat! It's so painful that I can only sit for an hour or so! The only thing I can think of, is in trying to stay off bad hip, all my weight has gone onto other buttock! I'm reluctant to go to GP as there's nothing to see! I know Irene and quite a few others feel pain, it seems to be one of the post radiotherapy symptoms, but this is really bad! I can remember someone buying this cream from Amazon but what the heck it was has just gone!

    Take care,

    Moira x

  • Hello Moira

    I am so happy to hear that everything is ok, but sorry to hear about your continuing pain.

    I am pretty sure the cream you are talking about is called Emla

    I had never heard of it until it was mentioned on here and looked it up and it has five star reviews.  It isn't expensive and well worth trying to help numb your poor skin.

    My mother waited for a hip replacement and when she eventually had it, it gave her a new lease of life.  She was in her mid 80s and had been used to a life of activity until the pain was too much.  I really hope you get your date soon - it is worth ringing up and saying you will take a cancellation.

    Sending a big hug

    Irene xx

  • Hi Irene,

    Thank you so much, I knew I'd heard of some cream on here, I'll certainly give it a go! I'm so desperate just to be part of my life again! At the minute I feel like a spectator!

    Your mother sounds remarkable! Before I had my right hip done, just last year, the pain was bad but where near as bad as this time! I've got my leg all mottled, using heat pads, but they work better than medication at times! The average waiting time is 22 weeks and I'm way past that, so fingers crossed, it shouldn't be much longer!

    Thanks again for telling me about the cream Irene, you're a life saver! I'll let you know if it works,

    Moira xx

  • Hi   

    How did you find the anal stretching went? My onco thought my skin might be too delicate but frankly I’m desperate to try anything! I know you’re just about to have a stoma fitted so it maybe was only temporary for you but just trying to get us much info as possible to make an informed decision!  I had a sigmoid last year and they had to use the child scope but even then I woke up on the operating table screaming in pain apparently (Fentanyl means I can’t really remember that much of it) but onco said it wasn’t ideal and scarring is obviously restricting things quite badly. After that I did use dilators with some success but haven’t kept on top of it and am now in a right pickle with an ongoing fissure and walking like John Wayne! 

    I am literally a pain in the a… ! Rofl

    PPR xx