Sigmoidoscopy Through Stoma: Seeking Advice


Hi. Has anyone ever had a sigmoidoscopy through the stoma? I am having it done on Thursday and I am very scared about it.

For almost the last 50 years, I haven't had any issues since having my ileostomy. But in the last 3 years, I have had pain in the same place, below and to the right of my ostomy. So far, 2 gastro doctors say this is scar tissue and can't help me. I went to a new gastro doctor and she is going to do a scope through my stoma.

Does anyone here have any recommendations for or against having this done? I am concerned if anything can happen to my stoma.

Thanks for your input.



Yes, I've had quite a few, very safe and pain-free. Just slightly uncomfortable... like you, when I had my first one, I was scared too.

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Hi Connie, sorry to hear of our approaching sign/scope through the ileo. I have heard the same thing Ben38 has mentioned. We are all frightened prior to any try of procedure. You should be okay, but what puzzles me... is why? Why a sign through the stoma when your pain is elsewhere? You said below it to the right?

I would guess even before anyone wanted to take a peek via scoping, they would do a cat scan, or sonar image.. where the pain is coming from. Call me dense, but to me it's common sense. You are not having pain from the stoma or moving poop through it, right? So why go inside it? Geez. I would ask the doctor what she is expecting to find through this invasive procedure when possibly it's not even warranted.

Keep us posted. -Warrior


I've had many, I've had my stoma for 35 years. The other tests are expensive, when they scope you they see everything in real time and on video. The last few were done without any sedation, you just feel some pressure but nothing terrible, but I've always had terrible gas after. I used to have it done yearly but my current GI doc said if no problems why bother, so haven't had one in 7 years, knock on wood! Good luck!


True about the expenses. I get that. Plus, insurance does have a say in cost if any. But my point, which may have ended in the Dead Sea, is that the pain from what I have read does not logically make sense to scope her. I mean, what organ is lower right to the stoma? Can it even be a kidney stone? I suffered that exact thing last year. Just saying. She didn't mention a pee problem though. Didn't mention bleeding output either.

The thing I have against doctors is that they call for testing that for us lay people might be unnecessary.

Have you had those real dumb tests done that made no sense whatsoever and wasted precious time and money? Hmm? I'm sorry, without further details of this pain, to me, the doc is barking up the wrong tree unless there is better evidence for needing the scope, whereas the scan creates a large picture on the outside it. Dig?

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I've had a few done, both with and without anesthesia, for the most part there's a bit of discomfort from the air being blown in, but once it's all done, that quickly resolves.

If there's any narrowing they'll be able to see it and determine cause as well as grab any biopsies they might need.

Reply to warrior

You are not dense at all for asking those very good questions. I have already had a CT scan and MRI which both show everything looks good. So, two doctors have concluded they think it's scar tissue which nothing can be done. The new doctor isn't so sure about that because why now after all these years am I having this pain. The pain is below the stoma and always in the same spot. Pain is worse when I don't follow the FODMAP diet which most that have IBD, IBS, Crohn's or UC follow. The sigmoidoscope is going to look into the small intestine. Obviously certain foods that I eat are causing intestinal pain. Plus, I am suspecting that there is a bacterial growth in my intestine which my doctor thinks is highly possible. If so, I will be treated with antibiotics.

I looked this up on google - Sigmoidoscopy looks for - Polyps - Tumors - Ulcers (sores) - Inflammation (redness and swelling) - Hemorrhoids - Diverticula (pouches on your colon wall) - Strictures (narrowing of your lower colon)

At the same time, the doctor will also do an endoscope looking into my esophagus because I have bad acid reflux as well as trouble swallowing some foods. The doctor might stretch my esophagus during the procedure.

Thank you for your questions and concern. I appreciate it.

Reply to rpderose

Hi. Thank you for your answer. Did it cause any change in the size of your stoma or anything? I am told I will be put out during the procedure since I also have an endoscope as well, and they may stretch my esophagus.

When you had your scope, did they have to do anything for you - drugs, surgery, or anything?

Thanks for your answer.

Reply to Ben38

Why did you have them done and did they find anything? What were they looking for?

Reply to warrior

I don't seem to have any bladder issues. I did have a UTI and I took antibiotics for it. But, I still have this pain. I don't have any pee issues.

ron in mich

Hi Connie, I've had an ileo for 30 some years due to Crohn's/colitis and have had scopes done both upper and lower due to the Crohn's causing scar tissue and constrictions and blockages. The worst part is waking up and feeling bloated and loopy from the anesthesia.


Hi Connie, how did it go? Did you get results? I just had this procedure done a couple of weeks ago and it was fine. My doctor was looking for inflammation to assess whether or not Entyvio seemed to be working for me post ileostomy surgery.

Reply to Dahlia

Hi. I'm having it done on Thursday, Dec 15th. Sorry, I don't understand Entyvio. Did you have Entyvio? If so, what did they do about it.

I'll let you know how my procedure goes.


Reply to rpderose

Good for you. I have had many too in the space of five years. When I told them that once every five years is recommended, I was told that is for routine checks not for my case. What are the problems you can have to make you seek a scope? The procedure itself is painless, never had any problems with it. I think a scope is better if that is where the problem originated, it can check for anything new and take a biopsy whereas the others cannot, sometimes the doctor suggests both.

Reply to warrior

Update on my test. First of all, I had already had CT and MRI's that said my intestine was fine. But, my pain is sometimes excruciating so I agreed to have sigmoidoscopy through the stoma. What I was most scared of was damage or change to the stoma during the procedure. Fears gone. Test lasted less than 1/2 hour and I was completely out. Doctor noted my stoma and small intestine are "remarkable" and in good shape. Thinks my pain is either from scar tissue or even from my hip radiating into my abdomen. Weird thing is the pain is always in the same place and when I am strict with myself on FODMAP diet, I have no pain. Pain comes and goes.

The doc also did endoscopy same time because I have bad reflux and hard time swallowing food. She stretched my esophagus. Plus, she said she found I have gastritis and took biopsy which is fine. No need for any further meds or anything for this. I am asymptomatic.

So, next step is to have hip x-ray. Also will have SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) test. Don't know why doc didn't take a sample while she was there. If I have it there is a VERY EXPENSIVE Medicine Rifaximin antibiotic to take for 2 wks. Anyone ever used this?


It went very well. Stoma and intestine are good. Just now, I'm dumbfounded about the pain I get.

Reply to Dahlia

Hi. The test went great and my fears were unfounded. Under anesthetic for about 15 minutes. Sigmoidoscopy didn't hurt or change my stoma at all, which was my main fear. Fortunately, it showed my stoma and small intestine (all I have left) were "remarkable," meaning no Crohn's or anything bad. So, good news from that except now, I am still searching for an answer for my pain. So, this week I will be taking a SIBO test for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. Pain has not been so bad lately and infrequent. After that, I will start antibiotic Rifaximin, which is VERY expensive.

Doctor also did endoscopy and stretched my esophagus because it had narrowed and was causing reflux and difficulty swallowing food. Doctor found I had a small hiatal hernia and Schatzki ring but didn't do anything about it. She also said I have gastritis, which hasn't bothered me. They took a biopsy and it didn't show any cancer or bacteria.

I didn't have to pay anything for sigmoidoscopy and endoscopy. They are covered under Medicare and the difference is picked up by my supplemental health plan.

Reply to warrior

I had to go through mine because they want to see where or how far my ileostomy goes. I'm due for a reversal. I had a colonoscopy through the rectum and through my stoma.

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