Rectal Suction Biopsy

Also known as: rectal biopsy, suction procedure.

What is rectal suction biopsy?

A rectal suction biopsy is a diagnostic procedure performed to look for problems related to the colon and rectum. It might be needed if a child is having difficulty with bowel movements. It involves removing a small sample of tissue from the rectum.

What happens during the procedure?

The child is placed on his or her side or stomach, and a thin, flexible tube is inserted into the rectum. The tube is used to remove a few tiny tissue samples from the rectum. This rarely causes any pain. Afterward, the doctor may perform a rectal exam to ensure that no bleeding has occurred in the rectum.

Is any special preparation needed?

In most cases, no special preparation is needed for the rectal suction biopsy. Parents may need to avoid giving their child suppositories or enemas before the test.

What are the risk factors?

Bleeding, infection or rectal tearing are rare risk factors related to rectal suction biopsy.

Reviewed by: Carrie Firestone Baum, MD

This page was last updated on: April 29, 2021 02:50 PM

Pediatric Gastroenterology

The Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital is dedicated to the treatment of a wide variety of gastrointestinal problems in infants, children and adolescents with a multidisciplinary approach.

Learn more

Learn more about


Constipation in a common problem in children and is described as a condition where the child has infrequent or hard dry and small bowel movements that are difficult to pass and are painful. Learn more

Functional Constipation

Constipation is a common symptom that refers to the inability or difficulty to produce a bowel movement. In some cases, the constipation can be so severe that it causes dangerous symptoms. Learn more

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a procedure used to examine the rectum and the lower third of the colon. It involves inserting a long, flexible tube known as a sigmoidoscope that has a light and camera on it into the rectum. Learn more