Toggle: English / Spanish
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 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:
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:
- Polyps (non-cancerous or cancerous)
There are few risks. If a biopsy is needed, there is a slight risk of bleeding and mild pain.
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.
- Last reviewed on 10/24/2014
- 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.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2013 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.