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An anoscopy is a procedure that enables a physician to view the anus, anal canal, and lower rectum using a speculum.A tube called an anoscope is used to look at the inside of your anus and rectum. Doctors use anoscopy to diagnose hemorrhoids, anal fissures (tears in the lining of the anus), and some cancers.
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:
Before the test, you might want to empty your bladder or have a bowel movement to make yourself more comfortable.
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 experience determine which steps are appropriate to help prepare him or her for this procedure. For specific recommendations, refer to the following topics:
*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)
*Schoolage test or procedure preparation (6 to 12 years)
*Adolescent test or procedure preparation (12 to 18 years)
What happens when the test is performed?
This test is usually done in a doctor’s office. You need to remove your underwear. Depending on what the doctor prefers, you either lie on your side on top of an examining table, with your knees bent up to your chest, or bend forward over the table. The anoscope is 3 to 4 inches long and the width of an average-to-large bowel movement. The doctor coats the anoscope with a lubricant and then gently pushes it into your anus and rectum. The doctor may ask you to “bear down” or push as if you were going to have a bowel movement, and then relax. This helps the doctor insert the anoscope more easily and identify any bulges along the lining of the rectum.
By shining a light into this tube, your doctor has a clear view of the lining of your lower rectum and anus. When the test is finished, the anoscope then is pulled out slowly.
You will feel pressure during the examination, and the anoscope will make you feel as if you are about to have a bowel movement. Do not be alarmed by this sensation; it is normal. Most patients do not feel pain from anoscopy.
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.
There are no significant risks from anoscopy. Sometimes, especially if you have hemorrhoids, you may have a small amount of bleeding after the anoscope is pulled out.
Must you do anything special after the test is over?
You can return to your normal activities immediately after the test.
How long is it before the result of the test is known?
Your doctor can tell you about your anoscopy exam right away.
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