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Anoscopy

  • Definition
    • Anoscopy is a method to look at the:

      • Anus
      • Anal canal
      • Lower rectum
  • How the Test is Performed
    • The procedure is usually done in a doctor's office.

      A digital rectal exam is done first. Then, a lubricated instrument called an anoscope is placed a few inches into the rectum. You will feel some discomfort when this is done.

      The anoscope has a light on the end, so your health care provider can see the entire area. A sample for biopsy can be taken, if needed.

  • How to Prepare for the Test
    • You may receive a laxative, enema, or other preparation before the procedure so that you can completely empty your bowel. You should empty your bladder before the procedure.

  • How the Test will Feel
    • There will be some discomfort during the procedure. You may feel the need to have a bowel movement. You may feel a pinch when a biopsy is taken.

      You can usually return to normal activities after the procedure.

  • Why the Test is Performed
    • This test may be used to determine whether you have:

  • Normal Results
    • The anal canal appears normal in size, color, and tone. There is no sign of:

      • Bleeding
      • Polyps
      • Hemorrhoids
      • Other abnormal tissue
  • What Abnormal Results Mean
    • Abnormal results may include:

      • Abscess
      • Fissures
      • Hemorrhoids
      • Infection
      • Inflammation
      • Polyps (non-cancerous or cancerous)
      • Tumors
  • Risks
    • There are few risks. If a biopsy is needed, there is a slight risk of bleeding and mild pain.

  • References
    • Reynolds PL, Wilkins T. Anoscopy. In: Pfenninger JL, Fowler GC, eds. Pfenninger & Fowler's Procedures for Primary Care. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2010:chap 98.