Rigid endoscopy of the rectum
Most important of all: A rectoscopy examination is not painful!
For this examination, we use a fixed rectoscope of about 20 to 30 centimetres in length and with a diameter of about 2 cm. The instrument is guided in (about 5 to 15 cm) by the physician under visual observation. Air is carefully blown into the bowel to cause the mucosa to expand and unfold; the air is removed as soon as the procedure is over. The examination lasts about 1–2 minutes.
Preparation for the examination is a very simple matter: only the rectum needs to be evacuated, to ensure that the examination is not hindered by residual stools.
The above procedure lets us identify changes to the rectal mucosa. These will either be tumorous changes (polyps), which can be benign or malignant, or areas of inflammation, which can be caused by bacterial or auto-immune agents. If the endoscopy proceeds beyond 15 cm, then we enter the sigmoid colon. Here one may find diverticula (outpouchings). Over the course of several years, polyps can develop into rectal cancer (see also adenoma-carcinoma sequence) and should therefore be removed (also as part of colonoscopy screening). Regular rectoscopy is standard at our practice, since we consider it to be a very valuable procedure. Rectal cancer screening is both simple and safe, easy to perform and is not at all time-consuming.