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.
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
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.
The anal canal appears normal in size, color, and tone. There is no sign of:
- Other abnormal tissue
There are few risks. If a biopsy is needed, there is a slight risk of bleeding and mild pain.
Anal fissures - anoscopy; Anal polyps - anoscopy; Foreign object in the anus - anoscopy; Hemorrhoids - anoscopy; Anal warts - anoscopy
Nyberg SM. Anoscopy. In: Dehn RW, Asprey DP, eds. Essential Clinical Procedures. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap 30.
Review Date 9/17/2016
Updated 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.