A proctoscopy procedure is essentially a medical examination of the anal cavity or rectum with the help of a special metal or plastic scope that is known as a proctoscope. A proctoscopy procedure is largely considered to be a safe procedure that features almost no complications. The rectum is a muscular tube that connects the colon (or large intestine) to the anus. This tube is the passage that leads all the waste from within the body, out of it, through the anus. It is also the avenue for the body to get rid of any unwanted gasses.
A proctoscopy is essentially ordered in order to detect the presence of a disease in the rectum or anus or even to look for any indicators or causes of rectal bleeding. The growth of tissue in the anal area, known as polyps are usually harmless but may become cancerous if allowed to grow for a long time. A proctoscopy is one of the most widely used medical methods of early detection and treatment of polyps leading to anal or rectal cancer. It is also used to keep a check on any reoccurrence of the cancer in people that have already undergone a surgery to treat the cancer.
A rigid proctoscopy does not require admittance into a hospital and will usually be done in the doctor's office itself. Since the procedure does not require the administration of a sedative or anesthesia, it is important that you inform the doctor of any pain or discomfort you experience while the test is being performed. Initially, the patient will be asked to remove his or her clothing from the waist down and need to lie down on their left, with the back facing the doctor. The patient will also be asked to raise the knees to chest level for better access to the rectum. Initially, the doctor will examine the area around the anus for any abnormalities before a gloved, lubricated finger is inserted into the anus in order to check for any tenderness. The proctoscope will then be inserted into the anal cavity and some amount of air may be injected in order to gain a better view. This is likely to be a little painful and some tissue samples will be extracted at this stage if the doctor believes further investigation is warranted. The entire procedure should ideally not last for more than 15 minutes.