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February 17, 1975

Proctosigmoidoscopy in Private Practice

Author Affiliations

From the departments of surgery, The Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital, Cooperstown, NY, and the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York.

JAMA. 1975;231(7):750-751. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03240190054022

PROCTOSIGMOIDOSCOPY by physicians in private practice performed for the diagnosis and management of benign and malignant lesions of the colon and rectum offers rewarding information that cannot be obtained by any other examination. Visualization of the tumor, excisional biopsy of small lesions, segmental biopsy of larger neoplasms, electrosurgical destruction or removal of benign growths through the sigmoidoscope— all may be accomplished easily and safely in the doctor's office. Hospitalization and more radical therapy are imperative for larger tumors and malignant lesions.

The examination requires no special skill; it can be performed safely by any physician with adequate equipment who possesses gentle hands, knowledge of the anatomy of the sigmoid and rectum and a compassionate personality that prompts him to discontinue the procedure when the patient complains of pain— not of discomfort, but "that hurts."

During the past five years, as Director of the New York State Proctosigmoidoscopic Teaching Program, I