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Doctor insights on: What Can Rectal Exam And Anoscopy Diagnose

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Rectal Exam (Definition)

A rectal exam is where a practitioner examines the last part of the colon (or rectum) by placing a finger or small plastic scope through the anus. This is important to detect issues such as prostate problems, continence disturbances, rectal cancers, and more. While often uncomfortable for patients it is very short and gives a lot of ...Read more


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Why did palpating the rectovaginal wall during the digital rectal exam to diagnose a fistula cause me sharp short-lived pain? Is it common in females?

Why did palpating the rectovaginal wall during the digital rectal exam to diagnose a fistula cause me sharp short-lived pain? Is it common in females?

No.: Not at all common. Just embarrassing and uncomfortable, but not painful with KY lubricant use. Better return to the doctor and discuss it. Perhaps there is a painful lesion there to make a fistula a possibility which causes pain? ...Read more

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Can diverticulitis cause your lower back and abdomen to hurt and be diagnosed just with a rectal exam?

Can diverticulitis cause your lower back and abdomen to hurt and be diagnosed just with a rectal exam?

Yes and no.: Diverticulitis can cause symptoms like this, but it cannot be diagnosed with just a rectal exam. One would need a complete history, exam and consideration of other studies to exclude other potential causes of such pain. ...Read more

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Will I have to take an enema before a rectal exam?

Will I have to take an enema before a rectal exam?

No.: Rectal exam as part of a physical exam, i.e. Insertion of a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum, does not need an enema. Anoscopy (insertion of a short tube into the anus to view the area generally does not unless surgical work is planned. Examination with a sigmoidoscope (rigid or flexible) does need enemas. ...Read more

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Would a colonrectal surgeon be able to tell if my prostate was enlarged when she completed a digital rectal exam and/or andoscopy while searching for internal hemorrhoids?

Would a colonrectal surgeon be able to tell if my prostate was enlarged when she completed a digital rectal exam and/or andoscopy while searching for internal hemorrhoids?

Yes.: While they may not routinely focus on the prostate portion of the exam, it would be something they could feel with the digital exam. Prostate size is not sufficiently visualized with anoscopy. There are folds of colon tissue that move out of the way with the finger test but sometimes obscure the anoscopy visualization. Since they don't focus on the prostate, though, they may not wish to comment ...Read more

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How is a rectal exam performed?

How is a rectal exam performed?

Routine exam: Includes a rectal. Two positions: lying on side, bending over. With women it can be done as part of pelvic lying on back using fingers in vagina and rectum. A glove & lubricant are always used. The exam in men chcecks prostate as ewll as rectum, in women recto-vaginal septum. Stool on the glove is used to detect occult blood. A good exam should be thorough but not painful. ...Read more

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At what age does a guy have to have a rectal exam?

At what age does a guy have to have a rectal exam?

No age limit: Rectal examination done as a part of physical examination or when indicated to age limit for , male or female. ...Read more

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I'm a man nearly 50 years old. When do I need to go for a rectal exam?

I'm a man nearly 50 years old. When do I need to go for a rectal exam?

Rectal exam: Recommended age for prostate cancer screening is 40 years. Also the rectal ex animation for colon, you should have it now at age 50. Please see your doctor. ...Read more

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Dr. Shari Jackson
25 doctors shared insights

Anoscopy (Definition)

Anoscopy is the inspection of the junction between the very last part of the colon, the sphincter (the muscle part of the anus, ) and the skin just outside the opening. A small instrument of either clear plastic or metal is inserted into the anus to show these areas. This is generally used for ...Read more