The patient should be positioned for comfort, ., in Sims position (lying on the left side with knees and hips comfortably flexed). A chaperone and/or a drape should be provided for patient safety, comfort, and dignity. After an explanation of the procedure to the patient, several mL of surgical lubricant are placed on the examiner's glove, usually on the index finger. The examiner visually inspects the anus and perineum, then places the gloved finger on the anal opening while asking the patient to bear down gently. After the finger enters the anus, it is used to sweep circumferentially around the interior of the distal intestine. It is then directed anteriorly (when examining a male patient) to evaluate the consistency, size, and nodularity of the prostate gland. Samples of stool obtained during the exam may be sent to the lab to test them for the presence of occult blood.
early 13c., "apparatus for weighing," from Old French balance (12c.) "balance, scales for weighing," also in the figurative sense; from Medieval Latin bilancia , from Late Latin bilanx , from Latin (libra) bilanx "(scale) having two pans," possibly from Latin bis "twice" + lanx "dish, plate, scale of a balance." The accounting sense is from 1580s; the meaning "general harmony between parts" is from 1732; sense of "physical equipoise" is from 1660s. Balance of power in the geopolitical sense is from 1701. Many figurative uses are from Middle English image of the scales in the hands of personified Justice, Fortune, Fate, etc.; . hang in the balance (late 14c.).