Panic! Sigmoidoscopy

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Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 1671
   Posted 8/10/2009 3:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Help! My doc wants to do a sigmoidoscopy and I've never had one. I've been on 40mg prednisone for 10 days with no relief from the D. Before that I was on lower amounts of pred. Now they tell me she wants me to come in tomorrow for it, and I'm working so I can't, but I'll have to do it soon.

It sounds awful. I've done a colonoscopy and barium enema x-rays. How does it compare? What kind of prep is required? What do you think they are looking for? Is there any benefit to the sigmoidoscopy over colonoscopy? My insurance isn't good so I will have to pay out of expensive are these? We've been putting off a colonoscopy because of this so if it's the same price-wise I probably should just go for the whole enchilada I'm thinking. I'm juggling 2 new jobs and this is just horrible timing. If it weren't for immodium I guess I wouldn't be able to work at all though.

Thanks for your help, I'm kind of freaking out right now.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 8/10/2009 3:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Well you do have to prep like a c-scope, but the only difference is this only goes in so far. For me it was uncomfortable, but over rather quickly. And sorry, no sedation on this one. If I had my druthers, I would just do the c-scope. Just because I am a sissy and want my sedation.

Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium  w/Vit D, and Xanax as needed for my anxiety.  Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 314
   Posted 8/10/2009 4:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Whenever Ive had sigmoidoscopies Ive had sedation, its the same thing as a colonoscopy so I have no idea why one would not get sedation especially if you have Crohns Colitis, which I assume you might since the sigmoids and Colonoscopies. To me its almost not worth the sigmoidoscopy if you dont like the prep then why not do it and go for the entire colonoscopy Im not sure that theres a real big difference in price, but it'd be a more thorough exam.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 8/10/2009 4:54 PM (GMT -6)   
I had several sigmiodoscopies before I was diagnosed. They were done in the doctors office, no sedation, no prep, no warning. Just drop 'em and bend over. But this was a good 21 years ago. Last year there was a question as to whether I needed a sig or colon done and my doctor chose the colon so that he could sedate me. The ones I had were tolerable, but I was a young woman and the doctor was an older gentleman, so there was an embarrassment factor. Not sure on the insurance issue, as I had insurance at the time and never saw a bill.

CD 20 years officially, 30 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Managing with strict low residue diet, keeping symptoms to a minimum. All test show small amount of ulceration, still have occasional blockages. But still have a great time with my 2 daughters and husband!

Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20552
   Posted 8/10/2009 5:01 PM (GMT -6)   
You have to find out what directions your doc wants you to take, he/she may not want you to prep at all, sometimes they like to see how the stool is actually sitting against the colon wall, I've had sigmoids with NO PREPPING involved, they can be uncomfortable (but with me it's cuz of my anal skin tags) but most people do sigs with no problems cuz they don't go up as far as they do with a colonoscopy so don't stress over it. I'd just go in and get it done and over with.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 166
   Posted 8/10/2009 6:11 PM (GMT -6)   
If your doctor wants you to do a prep for it, ie. cleaning out your bowel, then I'd go for the full colonoscopy since it goes all the way to the ileum. If you don't need to prep then a sigmoidoscopy is fine without sedation as long as you are not having a lot of inflammation. I had to be sedated halfway through a sigmoidoscopy because it was hurting a lot. I was in the middle of an acute flare up, and my CD is in the last 2 inches of my rectum, so it obviously hurt. However I've had 3 others with no prep, no sedation and no pain.
44 years old. Diagnosed with moderate to severe Crohn's in April 2005. Hiatus hernia diagnosed in 2008. Had Crohn's under control until March this year when I had a major flare up and ended up in hospital. Diagnosis is now CD and IBS. Getting it under control again.
Currently taking: Prednisone 5 mg, Salofalk 2000 mg, Nexium 40 mg, Calcium and Vitamin D, Matamucil, Yogurt for probiotics, Salofalk suppositories as needed.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 8/10/2009 10:58 PM (GMT -6)   
I had a sig - prep was just an enema the night before and an enema the morning of. No eating after dinner the night before. They just wanted the lower portion of me cleaned out. I had no sedation and found it pretty painful near the end.
27 Year old married female.  Graduated law school this year and waiting for results of the bar exam.  Start a new job sometime in September.  Diagnosed w/ CD 4 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant too but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night.  I take xanax prn for situational anxiety (aka no easy bathroom access). 

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 1671
   Posted 8/11/2009 1:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all for your replies! They do want me to prep. They've wanted to do a c-scope for awhile now so I talked to them about doing that instead of the s-scope. I have this bad feeling that they'd decide it didn't show enough and I'd have to do the c-scope anyway. Well, at least I've been through one before. I think it's going to be a different prep solution than what I've used before though. Now I'll just worry about not throwing it up as I am really sensitive about bad tastes and smells.

Thanks again!
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