Rectal ultrasound is usually performed according to the doctor’s indications. The diagnosis can be prescribed by a therapist or gastroenterologist. In order to obtain reliable data, certain preparatory measures will be required. Depending on the individual characteristics of the patient, as well as on the purpose of ultrasound diagnostics, various types of examination can be applied. You will learn more about all this from the article.
Types of rectal ultrasound
In medical practice , there are several types of rectal examination:
- Examination through the skin. It does not cause discomfort at all, it is suitable for people of any age. However, the information content is significantly reduced compared to the transrectal technique, and this is a significant disadvantage of the procedure.
- Intravaginal ultrasound. It is carried out for women if there is a suspicion of a pathological process, but examination through the anus for some reason is impossible.
- Rectal technique. Implies the insertion of a sensor into the anus. The method is highly informative, so doctors prefer it for diagnosis.
In most cases, ultrasound examination is indicated in the presence of symptoms such as:
- Stool disorders: frequent constipation or diarrhea;
- When emptying the intestines, blood or white mucus is observed;
- Fecal incontinence;
- Unpleasant or painful sensations when performing an act of defecation (bowel movement);
- Increased gas formation, which persists for a long time.
- Injury of the rectum.
In addition to specific symptoms, diagnostic manipulation is recommended for:
- Elucidation of the structure of the confirmed neoplasm;
- Evaluation of the effectiveness of the therapy;
- In order to exclude pathological processes before the upcoming operation.
What can be detected on ultrasound
Ultrasound examination is best combined with other diagnostic methods – this allows you to get a comprehensive idea of intestinal health.
During diagnosis, it is possible to detect such pathologies as:
- Inflammatory process in the appendix area;
- Colitis (inflammation of the large intestine);
- Diseases of the sigmoid intestine;
- Helminthic invasion and negative changes caused by it;
- Hemorrhoids and their inflammation;
- Bowel displacement;
In the fair sex, during rectal diagnosis, pathologies of the reproductive system can be detected.
If we are talking about diagnosis through the skin, there are no contraindications to the study. Rectal examination is prohibited for neurological and psychiatric pathologies and intestinal obstruction.
Doctors do not recommend transvaginal diagnostics for virgins, as well as for various diseases of the vagina.
Please note that each case is individual and requires a doctor’s consultation.
In order to get accurate indicators and determine the correct diagnosis, the doctor advises to carry out proper preparation. Depending on the specific type of study, the rules may differ. In any case, the patient must adhere to a certain diet, which implies the rejection of fatty, smoked and spicy foods. The study is conducted on an empty stomach, that is, it is impossible to drink and eat in the morning before the study. To reduce the likelihood of bloating and flatulence, a three-day intake of carminative medications recommended by a doctor is recommended.
With the rectal method of diagnosis, an enema should be given to cleanse the intestines. This is done in the morning on the day of the study. You can also use pharmacy laxatives.
Algorithm of rectal ultrasound
Depending on the diagnostic method, the stages of the process may have some differences:
- Examination through the skin. The patient takes off his clothes above the waist, lies on the couch on his back. Trousers must be unbuttoned. Gel is applied to the skin for good contact of the sensor. Diagnostics is performed in 15-20 minutes.
- Rectal ultrasound. The patient takes off his clothes below the waist. Next, you need to lie on your side and press your knees to your chest. The doctor smears the sensor with gel and gradually inserts it into the rectum. Diagnosis takes from 10 to 25 minutes.
- Vaginal examination. It is necessary to take off clothes below the waist, lie on your back and bend your knees. A hypoallergenic condom is put on the sensor, lubricated with silicone gel and inserted into the vagina.
Diagnostics is performed in 10-25 minutes.
At the end of the ultrasound, the patient is given the results of the examination and, if necessary, pictures.
In the absence of pathological processes in the puncture of the study, the following indicators can be seen:
- Correct localization relative to the rectum, reproductive organs and bladder.
- The size of the anal canal wall (determined exclusively by rectal diagnosis) – no more than 1 cm.
- The length of different parts of the organ (in a healthy intestine, the upper part of the intestine is 10-14 cm, the middle one is 5-10 cm, the lower one is 4-5 cm).
- Condition of lymph nodes. With the rectal type of examination, they should be less than 5 mm in diameter. With transabdominal ultrasound, lymph nodes are almost not visualized.
If any abnormalities are detected, the doctor directs the patient to additional types of research, for example, CT or MRI. When tumors are detected, a biopsy is performed to find out the nature of the tumor. Further actions depend on the specific diagnosis and severity. In no case do not give up, remember that almost any disease of the rectum is successfully treatable, especially if we are talking about the initial degree of pathology.