Information for Doctors
WHY ARE THESE TESTS PERFORMED?
Patients with pelvic floor symptoms occasionally have other problems accounting for their symptoms. Such problems including large polyps and malignancies are not common but are seen. Though unusual, it is important that these pathologies are excluded before other treatments are undertaken
WHAT OTHER PATHOLOGIES ARE SEE IN PELVIC FLOOR PATIENTS?
The other relevant abnormality that is sometimes found is microscopic colitis. This is usually visible only on biopsy. For this reason endoscopy is preferred to non-endoscopic means of assessment of the colon, and colonoscopy is preferable to flexible sigmoidoscopy in order that the right side of the bowel can be biopsied.
IS COLONOSCOPY IN THE PELVIC FLOOR PATIENT DIFFERENT?
Pelvic floor patients often have very long redundant colons particularly if constipation is a dominant symptom. In particular, the sigmoid colon can be difficult to negotiate. This may make the procedure slightly longer than average.
WHEN IS A FLEXIBLE SIGMOIDOSCOPY PREFERRED?
The advantage of flexible sigmoidoscopy is that it can be done with only an enema as preparation and can be performed without sedation. It is a useful basic test to rule out luminal pathology in the older patient. However, colonoscopy gives a complete view of the bowel.