Navigate Up

Neurology Center - A-Z Index

#
J
Q
X
Y
Z

Print This Page

Anoscopy

Anoscopy is a method to look at the anus, anal canal, and 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 the 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 bowels. 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:

Normal Values

The anal canal appears normal in size, color, and tone. There is no sign of bleeding, polyps, hemorrhoids, or other abnormal tissue.

What abnormal results mean

Abnormal results may include:

  • Hemorrhoids
  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Polyps (non-cancerous or cancerous)
  • Tumors

What the risks are

There are few risks. If a biopsy is needed, there is a slight risk of bleeding and mild pain.

References

Anoscopy. In: Roberts JR, Hedges JR, eds. Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2009:chap 45.

Updated: 12/10/2012

Robert A. Cowles, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, and Stephanie Slon.


©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com