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Sigmoidoscopy: What to Expect at Home
in Denver

Your Recovery

A sigmoidoscopy lets your doctor look inside the lower part of your large intestine, or colon. The doctor uses a lighted tube called a sigmoidoscope (or scope) to look for small growths (called polyps), cancer, bleeding, hemorrhoids or other problems. Your doctor may have used the scope to remove polyps and take tissue samples to be studied.

You shouldn’t have any pain after the procedure, but it is normal to pass gas. You may have mild discomfort from having gas.

If your doctor removed polyps, you will probably need to schedule a colonoscopy to look at the whole colon.

This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.

How can you care for yourself at home?


  • Most people are able to return to work right away unless they have had a sedative during the procedure.
  • You may need someone to drive you home if you have had a sedative. In most cases, you can drive yourself home after this procedure.


  • You can eat your normal diet. If your stomach is upset, try bland, low-fat foods like plain rice, broiled chicken, toast and yogurt.
  • Be sure to drink plenty of liquids to replace those you have lost during the preparation for the sigmoidoscopy.


You can return to normal exercise right away.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It’s also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have severe, ongoing belly pain.
  • You pass maroon or very bloody stools.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You vomit.
  • You have a fever.

Where can you learn more?

Go to, log into the web portal, and enter X882 in the search box to learn more about Sigmoidoscopy: What to Expect at Home.

Care instructions adapted under license by South Denver GI. This care instruction is for use with your licensed health care professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your health care professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.