Rectal and anal conditions can be challenging to deal with and discuss. Many feel embarrassed to discuss these concerns with their doctor, especially fearing potential treatments. However, you can get the help you need to feel better with guidance and care.
Anoscopy can help your doctor better look at conditions affecting your anal and rectal areas. However, before choosing it, you must first know if it’s the correct procedure for you. Let’s know more about anoscopy, whether you are a candidate for this procedure, and where you can find the best gastroenterologist in California.
What Is Anoscopy?
Anoscopy is a medical procedure used to examine the inside of the anal canal and lower rectum. Your provider will use a short, thin tube-like instrument called an anoscope, which has a light on the end that helps the doctor see any abnormal areas. The doctor may also take tissue samples during an anoscope exam for further testing.
Anoscopy allows the doctor to see the last few inches of the rectum and anus. It is different from other tests like a colonoscopy, a longer procedure that helps doctors see the large intestine.
The rectum is the last section of the large intestine before the anal canal. On the other hand, the anal canal is a short, tube-like passageway between the rectum and anus. Lastly, the stool leaves the body through the anus, the opening at the digestive tract’s end.
When Might You Need Anoscopy?
Your doctor may recommend an anoscopy if you’re experiencing symptoms like:
- Rectal bleeding
- Anal itching
- Pain or pressure in the anal or rectal area
- Discharge from the anus, and
- Lumps or growths in the anal or rectal area
Your doctor will also likely recommend an anoscopy if you’ve had a positive screening test for colorectal cancer.
Anoscopy can help your doctor identify the cause of your symptoms and rule out other conditions. They may also use it to screen and diagnose cases like anal cancer and hemorrhoids.
Additionally, providers use it to identify precancerous changes in the anal canal’s lining.
What Conditions Does Anoscopy Help Diagnose?
Anoscopy can be used to help diagnose and treat various anal and rectal conditions, such as:
- Hemorrhoids – swollen blood vessels in the anal or rectal area that can bleed
- Anal fissures – small tears in the lining of the anal canal
- Rectal prolapse – when the rectum falls from its normal position and sticks out through the anus
- Colorectal cancer – cancerous growths in the colon or rectum
- Anal warts – warts that grow near the anus or in the anal canal
How Is Anoscopy Performed?
Doctors perform anoscopy in their offices or outpatient center. The procedure is quick, and you will likely only feel a small amount of discomfort.
Your provider will ask you to undress from the waist down and give you a hospital gown to wear. You will then lie sideways on an exam table with your knees pulled up to your chest.
The doctor will lubricate the anoscope and insert it a few inches into your anus. They will move the device around slightly to better view the anal canal. Your doctor may also take biopsy samples during this time.
Once the exam is complete, they will remove the anoscope, let you dress, and you can go home.
What Are the Benefits of Anoscopy?
Anoscopy is a quick and relatively painless way for your doctor to get a better look at anal and rectal conditions. It can also help your doctor take samples for further testing.
Anoscopy is usually an outpatient procedure, so you will not need to stay in the hospital overnight.
What Are the Risks of Anoscopy?
Anoscopy is a safe procedure with very few risks. The most common risk is bleeding from a biopsy site. After the exam, you may also experience mild discomfort, bruising, or anal soreness.
Anoscopy Procedure in California
Do you need the anoscopy procedure in California? You can trust inSite Digestive Health Care. Our providers are highly trained, experienced, and excited to give you the comprehensive care you deserve. You may contact us by choosing a doctor from our list of providers. You may also use our appointment request form to book a consultation with the best gastroenterologist near you.
We look forward to serving you!