What is rectoscopy (proctoscopy) and how it is performed?
Rectoscopy (proctoscopy) is the endoscopic examination of the lower part of the large bowel from the anus up to 6-8 inches. Its role is to exclude malignant processes and also to diagnose benign polyps, inflammation, ulcers, strictures up there. Biopsies and removal of polyps are also possible through the scope. When we go even further up with the endoscop (up to 9-10 inches), it is called sigmoideoscopy.
The diagnostic rectoscopy (proctoscopy) ideally takes a minute or two. It requires no routine application of laxatives or enema. It’s more of a dyscomfort rather then pain that is rarely experienced during the procedure. It is important to open the bowels on the day of the examination if possible and to wash yourself. In most instances this enables us to peform the procedure. An enema with medication or the application of a similarly working suppository although very rarely needed, can be given in our clinic.
Cancers of the bowel usually grow slowly, but can develop at any stage of life. Therefore a rectoscopic report older then 2 years is not satisfactory and the procedure needs to be repeated in case of rectal symptoms.