This question was sparked by this discussion about the sigmoid and rectum.

When looking at the colorectal medical examination techniques, for want of a better term, there are the sopical examinations (those named with the suffix -scopy - involving the use of in instrument for viewing).

From what I understand, you have colonoscopy (examination of the entire colon with an endoscope) and sigmoidoscopy (examination of the sigmoid colon with an endoscope).

Is there such an examination as anusoscopy or rectumoscopy? What about colorectoscopy?

1 Answer 1


Various terms exist.

Proctoscopy is a collective term for the examination of the anus, rectum and sigmoid colon (one or all of them).

Anoscopy is the investigation of the anus (only) using an anoscope.

Rectoscopy is the investigation of the rectum (only) using a rectoscope.

Sigmoidoscopy is an examination of the rectum and sigmoid colon using a sigmoidoscope.

Colonoscopy, also called lower endoscopy, is an examination of the rectum and colon, including the sigmoid colon, using a colonoscope.

Combined terms, such as rectosigmoidoscopy, are less commonly used.

On the other hand, when it comes to upper endoscopy, more known as gastroscopy, the combined term esophagogastroduodenoscopy is commonly used in the medical documentation or literature.

Here are Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes for the investigations of lower gastrointestinal tract with exact definitions and descriptions. The terms used include anoscopy, proctosigmoidoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy.

  • What about Proctosigmoidoscopy? :-) It's weird that Rectoscopy, when Googled comes up with this ScienceDirect page headed rectoscopy but talks about proctoscopy. Apr 10, 2019 at 11:21
  • 1
    I added a link to CPT codes in my answer.
    – Jan
    Apr 10, 2019 at 11:33
  • 1
    Great post and answer between professionals in our new scope! :)
    – DoctorWhom
    Apr 10, 2019 at 14:38

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