Gastroenterologists at Riley at IU Health may obtain a biopsy (tissue sample) from the rectum to help evaluate and diagnose gastrointestinal conditions that result in constipation.
Types of rectum biopsy procedures include:
- Rectal suction biopsy. A rectal suction biopsy is a quick, painless procedure that can be performed in a doctor’s office. A small instrument is inserted into the rectum to obtain a small tissue sample to check for the presence of nerve cells.
- Rectal punch biopsy. A rectal punch biopsy collects a larger tissue sample from the rectum. It is performed while your child is asleep under diagnostic and interventional anesthesia. This procedure takes about an hour.
What to Expect
What to Expect
Your child's doctor may ask your child not to take aspirin or ibuprofen for two weeks before the biopsy procedure.
The biopsy procedure will take place in an operation room or a private exam room depending on the type of tissue sample required. Blood tests may be performed before the biopsy to check clotting levels in your child’s blood and help prevent bleeding during the biopsy.
If your child will undergo sedation, he or she will be asked not to eat or drink for several hours prior to the procedure to prevent vomiting and choking.
You can support and calm your child by staying with him or her prior to the procedure and before anesthesia is given. For some biopsies, you may be allowed to remain with your child during the entire process.
Rectal Suction Biopsy
A rectal suction biopsy is a painless procedure because there are no nerve fibers for pain in the rectum. You can expect the following:
- Your infant will be awake during the procedure.
- Your infant will lie on an exam table on his or her side. A nurse will help hold him or her in this position.
- The small biopsy tool will be inserted into the rectum, and a couple of small tissue samples will be removed.
- The biopsy tool will then be removed from the rectum.
- A nurse will do a rectal exam to check for bleeding.
- There may be a small amount of bleeding after the biopsy.
- If bleeding continues or is excessive, call your child's doctor.
Rectal Punch Biopsy
A rectal punch biopsy requires your child to be asleep under general anesthesia to allow the doctor to obtain a larger tissue sample. You can expect the following:
- Your child will wear a hospital gown.
- Your child will lie on an exam table on his or her side or stomach.
- An anesthesiologist will manage your child’s sedation and/or anesthesia.
- The biopsy tool will be inserted into the rectum, and a tissue sample will be taken.
- The biopsy tool will then be removed.
- The doctor will do a rectal exam to check for bleeding.
- Your child will be taken to a recovery room. Once awake, he or she will be reunited with family.
- Nurses will monitor your child’s pulse, blood pressure and breathing.
- Pain medicine may be given to ease any discomfort.
- Your child may experience a small amount of bleeding after the biopsy. If bleeding continues or is excessive, call your child's doctor.
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