What I Recommend
If a patient has symptoms like those listed on the previous page I would strongly
recommend assessment by a specialist.
At this visit a detailed history of the presenting symptoms would be
taken in conjunction with questions about a patients` other general
► A physical examination would be performed including, if appropriate, an
examination of the rectum and anus.
When attending for such an examination a patient may wish to bring a
friend or family member. A chaperone (usually a nurse) would be in
attendance at all times during the examination.
The Next Step
From the initial history and examination I would then advise on what
further tests might be necessary to make a diagnosis.
These might include blood tests, X-rays, scans, endoscopy or a
combination of investigations depending on the suspected diagnosis.
What is Endoscopy?
This is a detailed special examination of the intestine using a flexible fibreoptic telescope to inspect the lining of the bowel for evidence of
The examination is either a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy or a Colonoscopy. The
difference between the two is in relation to how much of the bowel needs
to be examined.
The decision as to which endoscopy to recommend depends on an individual
patient and their pattern of symptoms.
These endoscopy investigations are done as a day case procedure with the
results immediately available for discussion with the patient.
If I recommend an endoscopy then I will arrange with the patient a
convenient date for me to perform the examination.