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Why should I get a rectal exam?

Robynne K. Chutkan, MD
Gastroenterology
Hemorrhoids and anal fissures are visible on rectal exam -- something you might be hesitant to have but should be sure to request. When people are embarrassed about having me examine their rectum, I remind them that for me it's like looking at their elbow. A carefully done rectal exam should cause minimum if any discomfort and can yield lots of useful information, so don't be shy about talking to your doctor about what's going on back there!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.