How do I prepare for a proctoscopy?

The most important preparation for proctoscopy is to thoroughly clean out the rectum. It is important that this is done. The more completely the rectum is emptied, the easier it is for the doctor to examine it.

Various methods can be used to clean the rectum; your doctor will recommend the best way for your case. Many doctors will recommend using an enema to clear waste. Be sure to follow instructions as directed.

What should I expect during a proctoscopy?

Proctoscopy can be performed in either a hospital or outpatient office. Most proctoscopy examinations do not require anesthesia.

The doctor will first do a preliminary rectal exam with a gloved lubricated finger, then gently insert the proctoscope. As the scope is slowly and carefully passed through, you may feel as if you need to move your bowels. Because air is introduced into your bowel to help the doctor see better with the proctoscope, you may feel some cramping or fullness. Generally, there is little discomfort during the procedure.

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