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Related to anoscopy: colonoscopy




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.


This test may be ordered for the evaluation of perianal or anal pain, hemorrhoids, rectal prolapse, digital rectal examination that shows a mass, perianal abscess and condyloma (a wart-like growth). An anascopy may be performed to check for abnormal openings between the anus and the skin, or anal fissures. The test is also used to diagnose rectal cancer.


Anoscopy should not be performed on patients with acute cardiovascular problems due to the vasovagal reaction it may cause. This test is also not recommended for patients with acute abdominal problems and those with a constricted or narrowed 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.
During the anoscopy procedure there may be a feeling of pressure or the need to go to the bathroom. If a biopsy is taken, the patient may feel a slight pinch. The procedure is performed on an out-patient basis, and takes approximately an hour to complete.


The patient will be instructed to clear their rectum of stool before the procedure. This may be done by taking a laxative, enema, or other preparation that may help with the evacuation.


If a biopsy is needed during an anoscopy, there may be slight anal bleeding for less than two days following the procedure. The patient may be instructed to sit in a bathtub of warm water for 10 to 15 minutes, three times a day, to help decrease the pain and swelling.


A simple anoscopy procedure offers minimal risks. There is a limited risk of bleeding and mild pain is a biopsy is performed.

Normal results

Normal values to look for during an anoscopy include an anal canal that appears healthy in size, color, and shape. The test also looks for no evidence of bleeding, polyps, hemorrhoids or other abnormalities.

Abnormal results

While an anoscopy is typically performed to determine is hemorrhoids are present, other abnormal finding could include polyps, abscesses, inflammation, fissures, colorectal polyps, or cancer.



Altman, Roberta, and Michael J. Sarg. "Anoscopy." The Cancer Dictionary. Checkmark Books, 2000, p. 18.


Colyar, Margaret. "Anascopy Basics." The Nurse Practitioner (October 2000): 91.


Discovery Health. "Medical Tests: Anoscopy." May 5, 2001. 〈〉.
Lycos Health with WebMD. "Anoscopy." May 5, 2001. 〈〉.

Key terms

Anal fissure — An ulcer on the margin of the anus.
Digital rectal examination — An examination where a gloved, lubricated index finger is inserted into the rectum to check for any abnormalities.
Polyps — A tumor with a small flap that attaches itself to the wall of various vascular organs such as the nose, uterus and rectum. Polyps bleed easily, and if they are suspected to be cancerous they should be surgically removed.
Vasovagal reaction — Regarding the action of stimuli from the vagus nerve on blood vessels.


examination of the anal canal with an anoscope.


The use of an anoscope to directly visualise the anorectal mucosa and detect haemorrhoids, polyps, anal fissures and rectal bleeding of uncertain aetiology.


The use of an anoscope to directly visualize the anorectal mucosa, and detect hemorrhoids, polyps, anal fissures and rectal bleeding of uncertain etiology


examination of the anal canal with an anoscope.
References in periodicals archive ?
State-of-the-art of high-resolution anoscopy as a tool to manage patients at risk for anal cancer.
If a patient has anal signs or symptoms that aren't readily explained by common conditions, clinicians should consider anal cancer as a possibility and, if there is concern, refer that patient to someone trained in high-resolution anoscopy.
After the activity, 12 (24%) participants were interested in receiving further training (a shadowing experience on anal cancer screening methods or even a full training in high resolution anoscopy, depending on their level of interest).
As anal cytology becomes more accepted as a routine screening test, however, accurate classification of the degree of SIL is increasingly important to expedite the evaluation of those with anal precancer because of the very limited availability of those with expertise in high-resolution anoscopy.
The court noted that the plaintiff's expert asserted that Montefiore had departed from the accepted standard of medical practice by improperly performing a rectal examination and an Anoscopy, instead of a colonoscopy.
Due to the effects of the disease she underwent an ileocolic resection in 1989 and an angular anoscopy in 1998.
Wright acknowledged that anoscopy is much more difficult than colposcopy to perform because of the smaller, confined space and the tendency of the anus to move.
The utility of anoscopy and colposcopy in the evaluation of male sexual assault victims.
Full vaginal examination and anoscopy normally are completed before obtaining cystourethrograms.
Anal dysplasia in homosexual men: role of anoscopy and biopsy.
Ancillary procedures include immunizations, introduction of needles and catheters, simple anoscopy, biofeedback and hypnotherapy, infusion therapy, minor urinary tube changes, minor gynecological procedures, and minor ophthalmological procedures.
Berry noted that for high-resolution anoscopy (HRA)-directed biopsy is the most effective way of defining and identifying HGAIN and occasionally identifies cancer.