About Transrectal Ultrasounds

Transrectal Ultrasound 

Transrectal ultrasound, Transrectal ultrasonography, or TRUS for short, is a procedure that helps create an image of the rectum, its wall, and the surrounding tissues. Much like with pregnant women, the images in ultrasound are produced through soundwaves which can travel through body tissue to create an accurate image of human tissue in question. In the case of transrectal ultrasound, these soundwaves travel through the rectal wall into the areas of concern and produce an accurate image that our doctors can review to give them more information about your specific condition.

Why Do I need a Transrectal Ultrasound?

Transrectal ultrasounds really serve one purpose which is to get images of the rectum, but the information gathered from this procedure is used to help identify and even begin treatment for several medical issues. The images collected help medical professionals identify both minor and life-threatening medical conditions. The main uses for transrectal ultrasound are:

  • Staging for rectal cancer
  • Evaluation of anal sphincter muscle complex in cases of incontinence

How Is a Transrectal Ultrasound Procedure Conducted?

This simple outpatient procedure can be conducted in as little as 15 minutes. Sometimes it can take a little longer, capping out around 30 minutes. This procedure is performed on both men and women. As well, it is not uncommon to undergo an enema to ensure the colon is clean as well as ensuring the bladder is empty before the procedure. There are certain medication restrictions patients must adhere to before the procedure, but your doctor will go over all the pre-procedure care. Once the patient is ready, they will be placed on their side and the ultrasound probe will be inserted into the rectum. A high-frequency soundwave will be directed at involved tissues and any abnormalities will be identified or analyzed. Most of the time, it is not very uncomfortable but sedation is offered in many cases.  

What are the Potential Side Effects of a Transrectal Ultrasound?

Side effects from a transrectal ultrasound tend to be mild and rare but can also result in some minor discomfort. Some side effects include:

  • Rectal bleeding
  • Pain or tenderness

For questions about transrectal ultrasound including additional information on the how a transrectal ultrasound is conducted, more information on side effects, or to evaluate your need for this procedure contact Alabama Colon & Rectal Institute.