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An anoscopy is an examination of the rectum in which a small tube is inserted into the anus to screen, diagnose, and evaluate problems of the anus and anal canal.
Anoscopy views the anus and anal canal by using an anoscope. An anoscope is a plastic, tube-shaped speculum that is a smaller version of a sigmoidscope. Before the anoscope is used, the doctor completes a digital rectal examination with a lubricated, gloved index finger. The anoscope is then lubricated and gently inserted a few inches into the rectum. This procedure enlarges the rectum to allow the doctor to view the entire anal canal with a light. If any suspicious areas are noticed, a piece of tissue can be biopsied.
What is the Purpose of the test?
Doctors use anoscopy to diagnose rectal cancer and cancer of the anus. This procedure can also help the doctor:
*:detect any lesions that could not be felt during a digital examination
*determine whether squamous cell carcinomas involving lymph nodes in or near the groin (inguinal lymph nodes) originated in the genital area or in or near the anus or rectum
*confirm the source of malignancies that have spread to the anorectal area from other parts of the body
Doctors also perform anoscopy to determine whether a patient has hemorrhoids or anal:
*growths or nodules (polyps)
*ulcer-like grooves (fissures)
.How do you prepare for the test?
Before the test, you might want to empty your bladder or have a bowel movement to make yourself more comfortable. The doctor may suggest using:
*or some other preparationto clear the rectum.
What happens when the test is performed?
This test is usually done in a doctor’s office. You need to remove your underwear.After removing underwear, the patient bends forward over the examining table or lies on one side with knees drawn up to the chest. The doctor performs a digital examination to make sure no tumor or other abnormality will obstruct the passage of a slender lubricated tube (anoscope). As the doctor gently guides the anoscope a few inches into the rectum, the patient is told to bear down as though having a bowel movement, thenrelax.
By tensing and relaxing, the patient makes it easier for the doctor to insert the anoscope, and discover growths in the lining of the rectum that could not be detected during the digital examination.
Directing a light into the anoscope gives the doctor a clear view of any tears or other irregularities in the lower anus or rectum. A doctor who suspects that a patient may have cancer will remove tissue for biopsy in the course of this procedure.
Slowly withdrawing the anoscope allows the doctor to thoroughly inspect the entire anal canal. As the procedure is being performed, the doctor explains what is happening, and why the patient feels pressure.
Removing tissue samples for biopsy can pinch, but anoscopy does not usually cause pain. Patients do experience the sensation of needing to have a bowel movement.
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.
How long is it before the result of the test is known?
Your doctor can tell you about your anoscopy exam right away.
A normal anoscopy reveals NO evidence of:
*infectionor other abnormalities. The size, color, and shape of the anal canal look like they should.
Abnormal results of anoscopy can indicate the PRESENCE of:
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