Proctoscopy is a diagnostic procedure that examines the rectum to check for inflammation, infection, polyp, tumor, or to assess for healing after a prior operation. Common indications for proctoscopy include bleeding, pain, complex fistula, constipation, change in bowel habits, diarrhea, current or past history of tumors, cancers, or polyps. The procedure is performed in the clinic by Dr. Maher Abbas. Proctoscopy is performed while you are awake either lying on your left side or flat on your abdomen. A small tube is inserted through the anus and air is insufflated into the rectum [Figure 1]. This painless procedure takes less than 10 minutes.
How do I prepare for the procedure?
You can eat the day of the procedure and take your usual medications unless instructed otherwise. If you are on blood thinners, aspirin, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (medications used for pain, arthritis, or headaches, such ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac, etoricoxib), or have a heart condition, let Dr. Maher Abbas and his nurse know. Prior to coming for your visit, perform 2 Fleet enemas at home [see section on How To Do An Enema]. You can drive yourself to the appointment.
Post proctoscopy care
You can resume your usual activity after the procedure without restrictions unless instructed otherwise. You can return to work the same day.
You can have regular diet and drink plenty of liquids.
You can resume your home medications. If you are on any blood thinner, ask Dr. Maher Abbas for specific instructions. Remain on a high fiber diet and if a laxative is prescribed then take it in order to avoid constipation or straining.
Signs to watch for
No serious risks are associated with proctoscopy. Minor anal irritation can occur if you have proctologic conditions like hemorrhoids. It can be relieved by using over the counter anal ointments.
You will be informed on the day of your visit if there is a need for a follow-up appointment.
Any questions? Contact Dr. Maher A. Abbas’ office nurse here.