Rectal Ultrasound & Procedure Instructions

A rectal ultrasound is an exam that uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of tissue layer beneath the surface of the rectum. This is a safe procedure and involves no radiation. This test provides your doctor information about rectal polyps, rectal cancer, perianal infection and sphincter muscle injuries. It’s often the next step after a finding of raised (elevated) prostate-specific antigen (PSA) during a blood test. It is also used to look at the rectum for other problems.

A probe, called a transducer, is gently placed into the rectum through the anal opening. A small amount of fluid is put into the tip of the probe so that the surface of the probe is touching the inside of the rectum. This allows for better visualization of the tissue. The transducer produces sound waves that bounce off your organs and other structures. It then picks up those sound waves to create pictures of your organs.

Ultrasound involves no radiation and is considered a safe procedure. You may have risks depending on your specific health condition. Be sure to share all of your health conditions with your provider prior to the procedure.

Note: The information in this section is provided as a supplement to information discussed with your healthcare provider. It is not intended to serve as a complete description of a particular topic or substitute for a clinic visit.