What is rectal biopsy?

A rectal biopsy is a procedure involving the removal of a small amount of tissue from the rectum. The tissue is sent to pathology for testing.

Anaesthetic

This procedure will require an anaesthetic.

What are the risks of this specific procedure?

There are risks and complications with this procedure.
They include but are not limited to the following:

General risks:

  • Infection can occur, requiring antibiotics and further treatment.
  • Bleeding could occur and may require a return to the operating room. Bleeding is more common if you have been taking blood thinning drugs such as Warfarin, Asprin, Clopidogrel (Plavix or Iscover) or Dipyridamole (Persantin or Asasantin).
  • Small areas of the lung can collapse, increasing the risk of chest infection. This may need antibiotics and physiotherapy.
  • Increased risk in obese people of wound infection, chest infection, heart and lung complications, and thrombosis.
  • Heart attack or stroke could occur due to the strain on the heart.
  • Blood clot in the leg (DVT) causing pain and swelling. In rare cases, part of the clot may break off and go to the lungs.
  • Death as a result of this procedure is possible.

Specific risks:

  • Heavy bleeding may occur from the biopsy site. This may require further surgery.
  • The bowel may perforate and further treatment may be necessary.
  • Infection may develop in the deeper tissues beside the rectum. This may require further surgery with antibiotics.
  • Increased risk in smokers of wound and chest infections, heart and lung complications and thrombosis.