AnoscopyAnal fissures - anoscopy; Anal polyps - anoscopy; Foreign object in the anus - anoscopy; Hemorrhoids - anoscopy; Anal warts - anoscopy
Anoscopy is a method to look at the:
- 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 or centimeters into the rectum. You will feel some discomfort when this is done.
Digital rectal exam
A digital rectal exam is an examination of the lower rectum. The health care provider uses a gloved, lubricated finger to check for any abnormal fin...
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.
A biopsy is the removal of a small piece of tissue for laboratory examination.
How to Prepare for the Test
Often, there is no preparation needed. Or, you may receive a laxative, enema, or other preparation to 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:
The anal canal appears normal in size, color, and tone. There is no sign of:
- Other abnormal tissue
What Abnormal Results Mean
Abnormal results may include:
- Foreign object in the anus
- Polyps (non-cancerous or cancerous)
There are few risks. If a biopsy is needed, there is a slight risk of bleeding and mild pain.
Nyberg SM. Anoscopy. In: Dehn RW, Asprey DP, eds. Essential Clinical Procedures. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap 30.
Anal biopsy - illustration
Rectal biopsy can be used to determine the cause of blood, mucus, or pus in the stool. Rectal biopsy can also confirm findings of another test or x-rays, or take a biopsy of a growth found in the colon.
Review Date: 9/17/2016
Reviewed By: Debra G. Wechter, MD, FACS, general surgery practice specializing in breast cancer, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.