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Research Article

Flexible sigmoidoscopy in outpatients with suspected colonic disease.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981; 283 doi: (Published 14 November 1981) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981;283:1291
  1. C O Record,
  2. M G Bramble,
  3. A H Lishman,
  4. G I Sandle


    One hundred and fifteen patients attending a gastroenterology clinic were investigated by flexible sigmoidoscopy as outpatients. There were asked to fast before the examination and give a high-volume enema and sedated before the examination. A standard long colonoscope was used rather than the 60-cm sigmoidoscope, which limits the distance that can be examined and forces the operator to work very close to the patient. Preparation was considered good in 95 patients and 49 were examined as far as the hepatic flexure or beyond. Sixty-one patients were found to have lesions of the colon, 25 of them ulcerative colitis, 16 a poly, and nine carcinoma. Despite the fact that these patients were selected (some of them had already had ulcerative colitis diagnosed), flexible sigmoidoscopy proved to be a valuable initial outpatient investigation. The proximal colon was well visualised in 46 patients and a subsequent barium enema was considered unnecessary. There were no complications and the procedure seemed to be well tolerated.