Colorectal surgeons also known as proctologists use proctoscopy (performed using a proctoscope) to widen the anal cavity so that they can get a proper view of what’s inside. Colorectal surgeons are the doctors that treat conditions related to the colon or rectum such as colorectal cancer, polyps, anal fistula, fissures, hemorrhoids, etc.
It’s kind of easy to assume that a proctoscope is a single-purpose instrument. But it is actually a versatile instrument that plays a vital role in diagnosis, treatment, and follow-ups. Proctoscope is a short, rigid, straight, and hollow tube, made of plastic or metal and it usually has a small slit for a light source at the open end.
It also comes with obturators, designed so that their rounded end protrudes through the far opening of the instrument, allowing for easier and more comfortable insertion into the anus. The obturator is later removed to allow easy viewing of the anal canal.
Here are the wonders a proctoscope can do, playing a key role in easing the life of doctors:
- Detecting Health Conditions: Proctoscopy is a procedure that can be carried out only with the use of a proctoscope to examine and identify the problems in the anal cavity, rectum, or sigmoid colon. Doctors are able to perform examinations using a proctoscope which leads to accurate diagnosis with the use of this instrument.
- Finding The Cause of Discomfort : Any type of lesions or abnormalities in the anal cavity can be quite painful. This discomfort grows intense while using the bathroom. When patients come with such issues, doctors must look for the cause triggering the discomfort. Performing a proctoscopy is considered a good starting point for pinpointing the source of pain.
- Looking For the Bleeding: Seeing blood on toilet paper can be a shocker. If this starts to happen repeatedly, doctors examine the anal cavity to figure out what is going on. This would not have been possible without a proctoscope. Mostly internal hemorrhoids are a common cause of rectal bleeding. Fortunately, today doctors are easily able to spot them, thanks to the invention of the proctoscope!
- Changes in Bowel Habits: Proctoscopy is advised for people suffering from irritable bowel causing severe diarrhea or constipation. Bowel issues could be due to colitis (inflammation of the colon), chronic fetal impaction, Crohn’s disease, etc. Using a proctoscope can guide the doctors in the right direction for further testing to identify the exact problem.
- Carry Out Procedures: In problems identified by proctoscopy require follow-ups with additional procedures, like a colonoscopy. During most such additional procedures, a proctoscope is used to support the process. It holds the rectal tissue open, providing access to the lesion in the cavity.
- Removing Polyps & Addressing Hemorrhoids: Polypectomy is the procedure performed to remove polyps. Once removed, the polyp tissue is sent for biopsy. A proctoscope is used during this procedure to uncover such abnormal tissues that need removal. Some proctoscopes such as the metal variant of Dr. Chivate’s proctoscope are used especially for rectal prolapse surgeries. Similarly, in the removal of hemorrhoids, advanced (grade II, III, and IV), self-illuminating plastic variants of Dr. Chivate’s proctoscope make the procedure simple, direct, and non-excisional with minimal post-operative pain, thus ensuring faster recovery.
- Follow-ups Treatments do not always mark the end of care for a condition. Doctors continue to use proctoscopes for patient care long after completing the main procedure to check for recurrence or any post-operative complications.
So, whether you are a patient or a doctor, knowing all the uses of a proctoscope can help to gain a clear picture of colorectal care. From examinations to treatment to follow-ups using proctoscopes, help doctors to provide thorough care for their patients.
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