What is Anoscopy?
An anoscopy is a medical procedure done to identify abnormalities in the anus and rectum. A device called an anoscope is inserted into the anus to perform an anoscopy. The scope used in this procedure is made of plastic or stainless steel. This allows the doctor to have a detailed view of the tissue in the anal-rectal area.
Anoscopy is used to identify conditions and diseases that affect the last part of the gastrointestinal tract – the rectum and the anal canal such as :
How to prepare yourself for Anoscopy?
If an individual is undertaking an anoscopy, he/she should empty the bladder and bowels before the procedure. This makes them comfortable. The doctor prescribes a laxative or enema that helps empty the bowels before the anoscopy is performed.
How is an Anoscopy performed?
The anoscope is in the form of a rigid hollow tube. It is around 3 to 5 inches long and 2 inches wide. It has a light at the end to allow the doctor to have a detailed look at the anus and rectum. The patient will be asked be in the fetal position on the table and bend forward. The anoscope will then be inserted by lubricating with a K-Y Jelly into the lower gastrointestinal tract through the anus.
What are the possible risk factors of Anoscopy?
Though anoscopy is a painless procedure, pressure or the urge to have a bowel movement may persist. If the patient has haemorrhoids, then a small amount of bleeding happens. It is important to notify the doctor about how one feels during the procedure. If the doctor performs a biopsy, then a slight pinch will be felt.
What are the conditions or diseases an Anoscopy can find?
An anoscopy can help to find conditions like:
An abscess is a condition that is formed due to a collection of pus. It can cause swelling and pain . The abscess is caused due to the following conditions:
- Anal Gland blockage
- Anal fissure – Infection due to tissue tear
- Sexually transmitted infection
- Inflammatory bowel disease.
An anal fissure is a condition that occurs if the anal tissue tears off. This is due to:
The condition may also appear in patients with Crohn’s disease or commonly after childbirth.
Swollen veins found around the anus and rectum are called hemorrhoid’s. The veins around the anus generally get swollen when pressure is exerted. They may occur due to frequent strain during bowel movements. Hemorrhoid’s are very common in pregnant women. The swollen veins cause pain and bleeding.
Polyps are growths that protrude from the rectum or colon’s lining. The majority of them are benign, but some can be malignant.
Cancer can develop in the anus and rectum, which are both located in the lower digestive tract.
What can you expect during the post-operative care for Anoscopy?
This is an outpatient procedure, which means the patient can go home after it’s over. Once the exam is completed, the doctor will discuss the findings. The next steps will be determined by the results of the anoscopy. The test can assist the doctor in determining the best course of treatment for the problem, as well as determine the necessity for additional testing.