What is a Proctoscope?


A proctoscope is a hollow tubular instrument that is equipped with a light and is used to examine the anal walls of the rectum for any evidence of hemorrhoids, polyps, tumors, or diseases.

If you are seeking diagnosis for a hemorrhoid condition your doctor will probably suggest that you go through a series of tests to confirm that your symptoms are the result of hemorrhoids and not another underlying health problem.

One of the procedures is known as a proctoscopy which is performed with an instrument called a proctoscope.

How is a Proctoscope Used?

It is used to perform an examination of the anal canal lining, rectum, and the lower intestines to look for any evidence of abnormal growth, inflammation, bleeding, or hemorrhoids. The examination is known as a proctoscopy and is performed by inserting the lubricated instrument in to the anal opening. The instrument is equipped with a light so a visual examination can be accomplished by viewing the inside of the anal wall on a projection screen.

How a Proctoscopy Works

Prior to a proctoscopy examination you will most likely have to use an enema or laxative to help clear the colon of any fecal matter.

During a proctoscopy examination you will most likely be positioned lying horizontally on your left side. In some cases a proctoscopy can also be performed while you are kneeling with your rectum raised into the air.

Before performing the examination your physician will examine your anal area with a lubricated gloved finger to ensure that there is no irritation or blockage. If everything is okay the lubricated instrument is inserted into your anal opening and slowly advanced into the rectum and eventually the lower colon.

Once the instrument is inserted as far as possible, your physician will slowly withdraw it so the tissue on the anal wall and rectum can be carefully examined. The proctoscope may also contain instruments that are capable of collecting tissue samples to test for any malignancy or other serious health condition.

In most cases a sedative is used during a proctoscopy examination so it is important to have someone accompany you so they can drive you home after the examination.

Risks Associated with a Proctoscopy Examination

A proctoscopy examination is a very low risk procedure however there is the possibility you can experience rectal bleeding as a result of the insertion of the proctoscope or if it happens to pierce the lining of your anal area and rectum.

In the rarest cases there is a slight possibility of developing an infection in your colon or you may experience severe abdominal pain but again these cases are very rare.

What to Expect from Proctoscopy

Your physician will most likely discuss the results with you right after the examination however, if it is necessary to do a biopsy on some of the tissue samples it may take several days to get the test results.

A positive examination will reveal a smooth lining of the anal wall, rectum, and colon with no evidence of abnormal growth. If your physician finds hemorrhoids, the type of hemorrhoid condition you have will be diagnosed and an appropriate treatment will be recommended.

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