An anoscopy is a procedure that enables a physician to view the anus, anal canal, and lower rectum using a speculum.
How the test is performed
First, the health care provider performs a digital rectal exam by inserting a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum to determine if anything will block the insertion of the scope.
He or she then inserts a lubricated metal or plastic anoscope a few inches into the rectum. This enlarges the rectum to allow the health care provider to view the entire anal canal using a light. A specimen for biopsy can be taken if needed. As the scope is slowly removed, the lining of the anal canal is carefully inspected.
How to prepare for the test
You will be asked to defecate to clear your rectum of stool before the procedure. A laxative, enema, or other preparation may be administered to help clear your rectum.
Infants and children:
A child’s age and previous experience determine which steps are appropriate to prepare a child for this procedure. For specific recommendations, refer to the following topics as they correspond to your child’s age:
- Infant test or procedure preparation (birth to 1 year)
- Toddler test or procedure preparation (1 to 3 years)
- Preschooler test or procedure preparation (3 to 6 years)
- School age test or procedure preparation (6 to 12 years)
- Adolescent test or procedure preparation (12 to 18 years)
How the test will feel
There will be some pressure during the procedure, and you may feel the need to defecate. If biopsies are taken, you may feel a pinch.
Why the test is performed
This test may be used to determine whether you have hemorrhoids, anal polyps, tumors, inflammation, fissures, or infection.
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 indicate hemorrhoids, an abscess, inflammation, infection, fissures, tumors, or polyps (benign or malignant).
What the risks are
There are minimal risks for simple anoscopy. If a biopsy is needed, there is a limited risk of bleeding and mild pain.
by Simon D. Mitin, M.D.
All ArmMed Media material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.