JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Rigid rectosigmoidoscopy: still a well-tolerated diagnostic tool.

BACKGROUND: Although rigid rectosigmoidoscopy has been gradually replaced by the use of flexible rectosigmoidoscopy in recent years, it remains an effective, economic and widely available diagnostic tool. The aim of this study was to determine the type and magnitude of symptoms during rigid rectosigmodoscopy.

METHODS: Prospective evaluation of patients who underwent diagnostic rigid rectosigmoidoscopy. The main complaints were recorded, and their magnitude quantified using a visual analogue scale.

RESULTS: A total of 134 patients (mean age = 48 years) were examined. The prone jackknife position was used in 54% of them and left lateral decubitus in 46%. A complete (full length) examination was achieved in 68%. There were no complications. Sixty percent of patients referred complaints: pain (33%), discomfort by rectal preparation (13%), uncomfortable defecation desire (8%), and discomfort by the position (4%). Median values determined by visual analogue scale for pain, discomfort by rectal preparation, uncomfortable positioning and overall discomfort were graded as 3.3, 3.3, 2.1 and 2, respectively. There was an association between higher magnitude of pain and overall discomfort with female gender, left lateral decubitus position, and full-length exploration (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: A high percentage of patients have symptoms during rigid rectosigmoidoscopy but the study is usually well tolerated due the low magnitude of pain and discomfort and remains a very cost-effective study.

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