Flexible Sigmoidoscopy is a procedure that examines the rectum and the lower part of the colon (known as the sigmoid). A long flexible tube (no larger than the little finger) is gently inserted into the anus and through the rectum and sigmoid colon.

Place of Procedure:

Georgetown University Hospital
Division of Gastroenterology
3800 Reservoir Rd. NW
Washington, DC 20007
2nd floor Main Building. Room 2210

If your insurance company requires a referral, you must bring it with you. Also, please bring your insurance card, and a current picture ID.

Please Note:

  • You must have a responsible adult accompany you home after the procedure. This person must pick you up in the endoscopy unit after checking in at Room M-2210.
  • You may not take a taxi or bus home unless accompanied by an adult.
  • If you are being picked up after your procedure our nurses can coordinate pickup times – just provide them with a telephone number and the amount of notice your escort needs to arrive at the hospital.
  • You may not operate a motor vehicle for the remainder of the day following your procedure.


Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Prep:

     Two days before your procedure, purchase:

  • One bottle of Citrate of Magnesium
  • Two tap water or saline enemas   

      24 hours before your procedure:

  • You may have regular food for breakfast and lunch but drink only clear liquids for dinner (water, broth, apple juice, white grape juice, lemonade, coffee or tea). Many people find that eating lighter the day before the procedure results in an easier prep experience. Do not drink any red liquids or artificial sweeteners.
  • Drink only clear liquids for breakfast, lunch and dinner (water, broth, apple juice, white grape juice, lemonade, coffee or tea). Do not drink any red liquids or artificial sweeteners.
  • At 6:00 pm drink the entire bottle of Citrate of Magnesium. You may continue to drink clear liquids up until midnight.
  • After midnight NOTHING BY MOUTH until after the procedure, except for blood pressure medication which should be taken at least 4 hours before the procedure with a sip of water.


     Day of your procedure:

  • Nothing to eat or drink the morning of the procedure. Do not eat hard candy or chew gum.
  • Use the two tap water enemas approximately 2 hours before leaving for the hospital. Ideally you should keep each enema in for about 15 minutes before evacuating.
  • Wear comfortable clothing that is easy to remove and leave jewelry at home.
  • Arrive at endoscopy registration one hour prior to your scheduled procedure. Registration is located on the 2nd floor of the Main Hospital – Room M-2210. Construction of the new hospital has led to significant traffic delays – please allow yourself ample time for parking.
  • A nurse will review your medical history with you. Please bring a list of your current medications and any allergies. An intravenous line (IV) will be started in order to administer the sedation during your procedure.
  • Your heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen level will be monitored during the procedure.
  • When your procedure is finished, you will remain in the recovery room for approximately one hour.
  • Dr. Chutkan will discuss the results of your procedure with you and give you a written copy of your report.


Additional Information:

  •  If you are on blood thinners, insulin or other diabetic medications please check with your primary physician for instructions and let us know when you arrive for your procedure. You may call the endoscopy nursing staff at 202-444-3302 or our office at 301-215-7700 if you have questions regarding your medications.
  • Make sure you have not had anything to eat or drink for at least 6 hours prior to the procedure.


Click here for a downloadable version of these instructions. Once you are navigated to the downloadable instructions page, click “File” at the very top of your screen, then click “Export as pdf”.