Digital Rectal Examination

Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) – direct palpation of the rectum in which the doctor inserts a gloved and lubricated finger into the rectum via the anus.

DRE allows the doctor to feel for abnormal growths within the rectum and, in men, to palpate the prostate gland for enlargement and possibly nodules that could suggest prostate cancer. The doctor can perform Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) as an office procedure; there is little discomfort.

The person may lie on his or her side with knees drawn up. DRE may accompany a pelvic examination for a woman. DRE is also part of the examination to determine the cause of acute abdominal pain and other symptoms of health conditions affecting the lower gastrointestinal tract.


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