Anoscopy is a method to view the anus, anal canal, and lower rectum.
How the test is performed
A digital rectal exam is done first. Then, a lubricated instrument (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 the health care provider can see the entire anal canal. A specimen 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 bowels.
How the test will feel
There will be some discomfort during the procedure, and you may feel the need to have a bowel movement. You may feel a pinch when a biopsy is taken.
Why the test is performed
This test may be used to determine whether you have:
The anal canal appears normal in size, color, and tone. There is no evidence of bleeding, polyps, hemorrhoids, or other abnormal tissue.
What abnormal results mean
Abnormal results may include:
- Polyps (non-cancerous or cancerous)
What the risks are
There are few risks. If a biopsy is needed, there is a slight risk of bleeding and mild pain.
Christine Lee, MD, Department of Surgery, Marin General Hospital, Greenbrae, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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