PCN Rectal Pathology Clinic

Rectal Pathology Clinic

Our practices are working together to deliver a service for patients who are suffering from rectal pain or bleeding. The clinician may be able to treat haemorrhoids by injection at the appointment or they may use a digital rectoscope to provide a community based diagnostic.

How do I access this service? 

If you believe you are eligible for this service, please make an appointment with your GP and explain your symptoms to them. They will refer you and ask you to complete a qFIT test, you will then be contacted about an appointment. Patients must be registered at one of our 9 GP practices. 

Who is eligible? 

  • Adults under the age of 60 with;
  • Rectal / anal pain or 
  • Rectal bleeding and
  • A negative qFIT 

Glycerin Suppositories

You will need to purchase and use a glycerin suppository on the morning of your appointment to ensure your bowels are empty before you are examined at the clinic. This is so that the clinician can be sure they will get a clear image when using the digital rectoscope. You can buy gylcerin suppositories from your pharmacy. 

What are they?

Glycerin suppositories are mild laxatives to remove poo from the back passage. They are for rectal use only, which means they are inserted into the back passage.

How do they work?

Once the suppository has been inserted into the back passage it will melt, lubricating and softening the poo. They will stimulate the bowel muscles to contract. These contractions help to move the poo along and makes passing of them much easier.

How to insert them 

  • Go to the bathroom first to try to empty your bowels
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water
  • Unwrap the suppository, keep it in the packet until you are ready to use it
  • Dip the tip in some water, this will help you slide it in smoothly
  • Get in a comfortable position. You can stand with one leg up on a chair or lie on your side with one leg straight and the other bent in toward your stomach
  • Gently spread your buttocks open
  • Carefully push the suppository, tapered end first, about the length of your finger into your back passage. Some people find that inserting the suppository blunt end first is easier. If it comes out straight away it may not be inserted far enough into the back passage. Ensure that it goes beyond the sphincter, which is the ring of muscle, and into the rectum
  • Close your legs and sit or lie, holding the suppository for about 15-30 minutes to allow time for it to melt. If you have an urge to empty as soon as you have inserted the suppository, try to wait as you will have better results
  • Once the urge is strong, go to the bathroom to empty your back passage
  • Wash your hands again with warm water and soap

What are the risks with using Glycerin Suppositories?

They are very safe and do not react with other medication. It is safe to use them long-term to help with symptom control. There may be mild side effects, but these are uncommon, for example some irritation/burning after insertion, abdominal pain, swelling and loose poo. Cramps will often subside shortly after the bowels are empty. Some people experience a slight swelling around the anus but this should settle quickly.

Do not use Glycerin suppositories   

  • If you have not been advised by your healthcare staff
  • If you have an allergy to any medication containing glycerine (glycerol)
  • If you have an allergy to any of the ingredients listed in the product leaflet

Last updated: 03/07/2024

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