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Anoscopic Exam Photo.jpg

Proctoscopy is a medical procedure in which an instrument called a proctoscope is used to investigate the symptom of bright red rectal bleeding.[1] It is used to examine the anal cavity, rectum, or sigmoid colon. A proctoscope is a short, straight, rigid, hollow metal tube, and usually has a small light bulb mounted at the end. It is approximately 5 inches or 15 cm long, while a rectoscope is approximately 10 inches or 25 cm long.[2] During proctoscopy, the proctoscope is lubricated and inserted into the rectum, and then the obturator is removed, allowing an unobstructed view of the interior of the rectal cavity. This procedure is normally done to inspect for hemorrhoids or rectal polyps and might be mildly uncomfortable as the proctoscope is inserted further into the rectum. Modern fibre-optic proctoscopes allow more extensive observation with less discomfort.


A proctoscope (middle) with an anoscope and a rectoscope
Two proctoscopes

A proctoscope is a hollow, tube-like speculum that is used for visual inspection of the rectum.[3][4] Both disposable and non-disposable proctoscopes are available for use. Out of these, the non-disposable Kelly's rectal speculum,[5] named after the American gynecologist Howard Atwood Kelly, is the most commonly used speculum for proctoscopy. Some proctoscopes have a light source for better visibility. The proctoscope is inserted into the anal canal with the patient in Sims' position. Fibre optic proctoscopes are now available which cause less discomfort to the patient.
The proctoscope is used in the diagnosis of hemorrhoids, carcinoma of anal canal or rectum and rectal polyp. It is used therapeutically for polypectomy and rectal biopsy.

Disposable proctoscopes without light are also available. The proctoscope also has a hollow channel through which other instruments may be inserted. For example, another instrument may be used to take a biopsy of a small amount of tissue for examination under a microscope. Also, air may be injected through the proctoscope to help make viewing easier. Similar instruments, the sigmoidoscope and colonoscope may be used to visualize more proximal parts of the bowels..

See also


  1. Jawad, Noor; Skinner, Charlotte (2020). "32. Gastroentrology". Kumar and Clark's Clinical Medicine (10th ed.). Elsevier. p. 1158. ISBN 978-0-7020-7870-5.
  2. Francisco Vilardell (2006), Digestive Endoscopy in the Second Millennium: From the Lichtleiter to Echoendoscopy, Thieme, pp. 200–217, ISBN 9781588904201
  3. "Proctoscope: Definition". The Free Dictionary. Archived from the original on 21 May 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  4. "Medical Definition of Proctoscope". Merriam Webster. Archived from the original on 12 January 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  5. "Definition of Kelly's rectal speculum". MediLexicon. Archived from the original on 10 May 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2012.


  • Moore et al. (2010) Clinically Oriented Anatomy 6th edition

External links