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What is a proctoscope exam?

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A proctoscope exam is a procedure in which a doctor uses a metal or plastic scope called a proctoscope to examine the rectum, explains WebMD. This exam detects rectal diseases, evaluates abnormal barium enema results, identifies rectal bleeding causes, monitors polyp growth, and checks for a return of rectal cancer.

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Prior to undergoing a proctoscope exam, an individual must usually clean the bowel using an enema, according to WebMD. He removes his clothes below the waist and lies on a table on his side, and then the doctor inserts the proctoscope into his rectum and gently pumps in air to expand the rectum. The doctor may use other instruments to remove a tissue sample for biopsy before he withdraws the proctoscope. Following the exam, the individual may pass gas and experience mild cramping.

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