What information is provided in a digital rectal exam?

Updated: Mar 30, 2020
  • Author: Marc D Basson, MD, PhD, MBA, FACS; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Digital rectal examination provides information about the following:

  • Anorectal masses

  • Tone of the internal anal sphincter

  • Strength of the external anal sphincter and puborectalis muscle

  • Presence of a rectocele (an outpouching usually present in the anterior rectal wall)

  • Presence of gross blood or occult bleeding by checking the stool guaiac

  • Presence of fecal impaction

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