A flexible 60-cm fiberoptic sigmoidoscope was evaluated in 139 patients. In 120 patients flexible sigmoidoscopy was compared with routine rigid sigmoidoscopy with respect to patient tolerance, distance of inspection, procedure time, and diagnostic yield. All patients were prepared with a single cleansing enema, and given no analgesia. Despite the fact that the flexible instrument was inserted nearly 3 times as far into the colon (55 cm versus 20 cm), more patients preferred the flexible examination. Significant pathological lesions were discovered by the flexible examination in 39% of patients, whereas rigid sigmoidoscopy discovered lesions in only 13%. Fluoroscopy performed during flexible sigmoidoscopy in 19 additional patients revealed that the instrument tip had reached the descending colon or beyond in 84% of patients. There were no complications. The flexible fiberoptic pansigmoidoscope offers promise as a practical diagnostic tool for a rapid and complete examination in patients with suspected colorectal diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas