Nurse specialist led flexible sigmoidoscopy in an outpatient setting.

Research paper by S B SB Kelly, J J Murphy, A A Smith, H H Watson, S S Gibb, C C Walker, R R Reddy

Indexed on: 19 May '07Published on: 19 May '07Published in: Colorectal Disease


There has been an increasing demand for diagnostic flexible sigmoidoscopy. In order to improve our diagnostic services, we established a nurse specialist led flexible sigmoidoscopy clinic in 1999. The aim of this study was to review the outcomes of this service between 1999 and 2004.The following information was collected prospectively: source of referral, presenting symptoms, the result of the flexible sigmoidoscopy, depth of insertion, the follow-up plan and complications.A total of 3956 patients had a flexible sigmoidoscopy performed between 1999 and 2004. The presenting symptoms were as follows: rectal bleeding (RB) in 1915 patients, change of bowel habit (CBH) in 421 patients, RB+CBH in 814 patients. The depth of insertion of the sigmoidoscope was as follows: rectum in 85 patients, sigmoid colon in 595 patients, descending colon in 1969 patients, splenic flexure in 958 patients and transverse colon in 311 patients. The findings at sigmoidoscopy were as follows: normal in 1560 patients, cancer in 132 patients, inflammatory bowel disease in 276 patients, polyps in 415 patients, diverticular disease in 584 patients and haemorrhoids in 926 patients. Two patients sustained an iatrogenic rectal perforation.The nurse specialist led flexible sigmoidoscopy clinic offers an efficient and safe diagnostic service for patients presenting with colorectal symptoms.