Anoscopy is exactly what it sounds like: it is a procedure that involves your gastrointestinal (GI) specialist inserting a small, tubular instrument (anoscope) into your anus to view its lining and that of your rectum. In a related procedure known as high-resolution anoscopy (HRA), your GI specialist uses anoscope along with a colposcope to better visualize the lining of your anus and rectum.
Read on to learn more about anoscopy, particularly why your GI specialist might order it as well as its benefits.
Why an Anoscopy Is Done
Your GI specialist may order an anoscopy to pinpoint the cause of constipation, rectal bleeding, diarrhea, and other related symptoms, which could signify any of the following lower GI conditions:
- Abscess, a sore, and/or reddened pocket of pus indicative of infection, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, or other digestive conditions
- Polyps- growths in the anus or rectum that can signify cancer
- Fissures (either acute or chronic (long-standing)- cracks in the lining of the anus and rectum caused by constipation or mechanical trauma
- Hemorrhoids– bulging veins that itch or bleed, which are usually triggered by obesity, pregnancy, straining at stool, or heavy lifting
An anoscopy can help your GI specialist determine the suitable treatment for your specific condition, or if there are other tests necessary to help confirm a diagnosis.
Benefits of an Anoscopy
While an anoscopy can seem like a scary procedure given the fact that it involves the insertion of a rigid object into your anus, it is an extremely important diagnostic tool, which will bring you closer to determining the best course of action for your symptoms.
Outlined below are some of the benefits of an anoscopy:
- No extensive bowel preparation- It also doesn’t involve the use of anesthetics nor does it require any downtime.
- No procedural risk- except for some minor bleeding, if there are hemorrhoids in the anus and rectum
- Accurate imaging of the anus and rectum- It allows for proper diagnosis of conditions of the lower GI tract before they become complicated and difficult to treat.
- A well-tolerated procedure- With proper lubrication, you could only experience a slight pinching sensation.
Additionally, because anoscopy is a fairly quick outpatient procedure (taking only about 20 to 30 minutes) that provides instant results and that doesn’t involve the use of anesthetics, your gastroenterologist can discuss their findings with you right away. They can immediately inform you about whether additional tests, such as a colonoscopy, are warranted and what treatment options are available. This is your opportunity to ask any questions or let your GI specialist know about any concerns you may have about your results.
Anoscopy in California
At Insite Digestive Health Care, we offer a comprehensive range of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures—including anoscopy—enabling patients to get all of their digestive health care needs taken care of in one location.
To find out whether an anoscopy is right for you, see one of our GI specialists today. Call us at our office near you, or fill out this form, and one of our friendly staff members will contact you to schedule your appointment.