Anoscopy is a common in-office or in-hospital procedure that digestive health specialists in California and across the country use to inspect the lower part of the GI tract. Quick and comfortable, an anoscopy yields important diagnostic information.
Here’s more information about anoscopy and how you can prepare for this simple test.
When Do You Need An Anoscopy?
When you visit your GI specialist in Southern California, tell the doctor specifically how you feel–in other words, the symptoms you are experiencing, such as:
- Rectal pain, particularly when you attempt to pass stool
- Constipation, or extreme difficulty passing stool
- Diarrhea or loose stools
- Pus or other rectal discharge
- Itching, swelling, and redness around the anus
- Lumps or cracks in the tissue surrounding the anus
These symptoms may warrant a visual inspection, or an anoscopy, of the anal canal. Your gastroenterologist may also do routine blood work and urinalysis if these routine tests have not been recently ordered by your primary care physician.
Preparing For An Anoscopy
Be sure to clear a couple of hours from your schedule for your anoscopy appointment. Show up at your instructed appointment time wearing comfortable clothes and shoes. Leave valuables at home.
Fortunately, there is no elaborate bowel preparation needed for an anoscopy, like you need for a colonoscopy. Your GI doctor will simply ask that you empty your bladder and have a bowel movement prior to the procedure. Your doctor will review your mediations and may ask you to stop taking certain ones ahead of the test.
At the GI clinic, you will don a patient gown and be positioned on your left side on an examination table. You will not need any sedative or anesthetic for this brief test; you will be awake and able to ask questions during your anoscopy. Your physician may do a DRE, or digital rectal exam, with a lubricated, gloved index finger, before inserting the anoscope tube into your anus and advancing it to the rectum.
What Does an Anoscope Look For?
An anoscope is a thin, lighted instrument a gastroenterologist uses to inspect the interior structure of the lower digestive tract. Often, it comes equipped with a magnifying device to yield close-up, high-resolution images, so a doctor can diagnose:
- Hemorrhoids, or swollen veins
- Anal fissures, or tissue cracks
- Cancer (and to take tissue samples for biopsy)
- Polyps, abnormal tissue growths (typically non-cancerous)
- Infection and physical trauma
The entire procedure takes about half an hour. Afterwards, you will rest briefly, get dressed, and resume your normal daily activities. Your doctor will give you a report of the findings right away and inform you of what, if any, follow-up testing or treatments you need.
Your Anoscopy Procedure at InSite Digestive Health Care in California
Our extensive California gastroenterology practice incorporates the talents of numerous board-certified physicians across the state. We have 20 affiliated practices, so there’s bound to be one conveniently located near you.