Why do I need a rectal exam, and what can doctors find with the gloved finger?

Have you ever wondered why doctors have to perform a digital rectal exam?

Well, look no further, as primary care doctor Rob Lamberts gives us the answers discerning readers demand.

Simply by looking at the rectum, which by the way, indeed “takes some getting used to,” can lead to significant diagnostic findings. Furthermore, does tight sphincter tone matter? And should you be worried about the large hands of your physician, or whether your doctor’s nails are trimmed?

Anal fissures, rectal masses, hemorrhoids, prostate cancer or any type of prostate infection or enlargement, and even pelvic inflammatory disease are but a few of the diseases that can be diagnosed with a simple wave of the finger.

So, the next time your doctor puts on that glove, you can take comfort in the good a thorough rectal exam can do for you.

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  • Big Finger

    Our hospital has bought into the Sullivan program for high risk medical presentations and has forced the ED physician group to buy into and achieve better scores. Part of the scoring is doing rectal exams on everyone with abdominal pain. So the majority of patients are not getting a rectal exam because they really need it but but because a hospital management demands it. Expect more of this mandated stuff with PQRI/CMS core measures and Obamacare

  • Manalive

    Is your assertion about rectal exams evidenced-based?
    Listening for carotid bruits, PSA testing, and “baseline” EKGs are a few examples of tests that once were taken for granted as good medicine, but have not withstood “evidenced-based” scrutiny.
    (See how easy it is to be a nihilist?)

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