Getting Ready for Flexible Sigmoidoscopy without Sedation
What is a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy?
A flexible sigmoidoscopy is a test to look at the lower part of your large bowel.
This test can be used to find the cause of rectal bleeding or abdominal pain.
Important – Read 1 week in advance.
Procedure may be cancelled if instructions are not followed
Blood thinning medicines should never be stopped without discussing this with the
provider who prescribes medication for you. The provider will give you instructions
on how to safely stop the blood thinning medicine. Contact us if you have
You will need to buy the bowel prep supplies before the procedure. You can
buy this at a local drugstore. No prescription is needed.
1. MiraLax (or generic equivalent) – 4.1 ounce bottle
2. Gatorade/PowerAde – buy two 32 ounce bottles. Do not buy red or
purple colored liquids. (If you are diabetic, buy Pedialyte instead).
For some patients, the doctor may want an enema to be done as a bowel prep.
Do not buy this unless instructed. For some patients, the enema will be given
here right before the procedure.
1. 7 days before, you should stop taking the blood thinner Effient® (prasugrel).
2. 5 days before, you should stop taking:
ξ Blood thinners, such as Coumadin® (warfarin) or Plavix® (clopidogrel).
3. 2 days before, you should stop taking the blood thinner Pradaxa® (dabigatran).
4. 2 days before, you should stop taking the blood thinner Xeralto®
5. 2 days before, you should stop taking the blood thinner Eliquis®
6. Our staff will need to review your health history, prior surgeries,
allergies, and medicines taken. Please bring this information with
7. If you have an implanted pacemaker or defibrillator, we will need specific
information about it before your procedure day. If you haven't already given
us this information, please call us during business hours (8:00 AM to 5:00
PM, Monday through Friday) at (608) 263-8097 for procedures done at the GI
Procedure center at the hospital. Ask to speak to the Procedure Coordinator.
For all procedures scheduled at the DHC, call (608)890-5010 and talk to the
Day before your procedure: Bowel Prep
1. You can eat a regular meal for lunch. Stop eating all solid foods by noon. After
that, start a clear liquid diet.
2. Clear liquids include water, soda, Gatorade, juice. No liquids should have pulp
(like orange juice). Do not drink liquids that are red or purple in color.
3. In the early afternoon, mix the MiraLax® with both bottles of chilled Gatorade.
It will be 64 ounces total. If you are diabetic, use Pedialyte.
4. Start drinking the prep at 6 pm. Drink one 8-ounce glass of the total mixed
solution every 15 minutes until gone.
5. If your stool is still not clear, Drink one 8-ounce glass every 15 minutes until
your stool is clear.
6. Keep drinking clear liquids so you do not get dehydrated.
Day of the Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
1. Continue with clear liquid diet only, no solid foods can be eaten until after the
procedure is completed.
2. Follow the arrival and registration instructions in your cover letter. If you
are delayed, call to let us know you are going to be late. For all procedures at
DHC, call (608)890-5010. For procedures at the GI Center at the hospital, call
(608)263-8097. If you are over 30 minutes late, we may have to cancel and
reschedule. We do our best to stay on time.
3. Plan to be with us about 1 hour.
The Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
ξ A nurse will review your health history.
ξ The test will take about 15 minutes.
After the Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
Your doctor will discuss results with you before you go home. You and the doctor
who referred you will receive a copy of the report. You can resume normal daily
tasks. You may have some gas pains from the air used to distend your colon. As
you pass the air your gas pains should go away.
How to Contact Us
If you are not able to keep your appointment, please let us know 5 days before
UW Health Digestive Health Center
750 University Row
Digestive Health Center, 7:00 am to 5:00 pm weekdays, (608) 890-5010.
After clinic hours, please call (608) 890-5010. This number will connect you to the
paging operator. Ask for the Gastroenterology (GI) doctor on call. Give your name
and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.
If you live outside of the Madison area, please call 1-855-342-9900.
University of Wisconsin Hospitals & Clinics
GI Procedure Clinic
600 Highland Avenue
GI Procedure Clinic, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm weekdays, (608) 263-8097. After clinic
hours, please call (608) 263-8094. Give your name and phone number with the area
code. The doctor will call you back.
If you live outside of the Madison area, please call 1-800-323-8942
The Spanish version of this Health Facts for You is #6518
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you have
any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This is not
medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each person’s
health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using this
information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 7/2017. University of Wisconsin Hospitals and
Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF6258