Digital Rectal Examination

Digital rectal exam

A digital (finger) rectal examination checks for problems in organs or other structures in the pelvis and lower abdomen. During a digital rectal examination, your doctor puts a lubricated, gloved finger of one hand into the rectum and may use the other hand to press on the lower abdomen or pelvic area.

Current as ofDecember 19, 2018

Author: Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Jerome B. Simon, MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology
Jimmy Ruiz, MD - Medical Oncology, Hematology

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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