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The anoscopy is one of the most common medical tests, which allows you to view the anus, anal canal and lower rectum. It is an exam that is performed without anesthesia, but it is completely painless; the patient only feels a sensation of heaviness in the anal canal.

Below we explain in detail everything related to this test: what it is, why it is performed, what is the procedure …

What is anoscopy?

Anoscopy is called the medical test that allows visualizing the last ten centimeters of the digestive tract; anus, anal canal, and lower rectum . It is used to diagnose certain pathologies that affect the anal region, such as rectal tumors or hemorrhoids , among many others.

To carry it out, an instrument called anoscope is used, a flexible tube between eight and ten centimeters in length, and about four centimeters in diameter. The anoscope incorporates a lamp and camera at one end, so that the doctor can look closely at the anal canal and the walls of the rectum.

Why is it done?

This physical examination is requested by the doctor when the patient presents a series of symptoms typical of a condition of the rectum, anal canal or anus . In addition to being a diagnostic test, anoscopy can also remove tissue from the walls and even treat certain diseases.

Anal pain

This is the most common reason for which anoscopy is performed; the patient feels great pain in the anus area , which is caused in the vast majority of cases by hemorrhoids. When the patient presents the symptoms of hemorrhoids but these are not palpable with a rectal examination, the most common is to perform a colonoscopy to check if it is internal hemorrhoids.

Anal bleeding

Anal bleeding usually occurs in the stool; When the bleeding is bright red, it means that the cause is in the lower part of the digestive tract and therefore an anoscopy is performed to determine its origin. The most common cause of anal bleeding is fissures .

Feeling of heaviness in the anal area

This is a symptom of rectal cancer, as well as hemorrhoids or polyps; the patient feels great heaviness and pressure in the anus . Thus, the doctor requests an anoscopy to make the diagnosis.

Extract tissue

As we have pointed out, this medical test, in addition to being a diagnosis, also serves as a treatment . If the doctor observes any type of abnormality or suspicious alteration in the anal canal or in the lower part of the rectum, an anoscopy is required to take samples of the tissue for later analysis in the laboratory.

How is anoscopy performed?

Anoscopy is a very minimally invasive technique. It lasts approximately 20 minutes, although it can be longer if tissue samples are taken or any type of treatment is carried out. The test is performed on an outpatient basis,


Anoscopy should be performed with the rectum completely empty. Therefore, it is sometimes advisable to take laxatives a few hours before the test.

As for food, it is not necessary to fast before the exam. However, it is advisable that during the previous 72 hours you start a diet rich in fiber and stay well hydrated to avoid constipation .

You may also be interested in:   Colonoscopy


To perform the anoscopy, the first thing is that you lie on the table in the correct position, which allows the introduction of the anoscope; that is, on your side and with your legs bent, so that you can hug your knees.

First, the doctor will observe the anus to determine if there is any type of external injury or if the skin has alterations. You will then proceed to perform a digital rectal examination to evaluate the anal canal in relation to its level of contraction.

Before inserting the anoscope, proceed to clean the area with antiseptic products . When the doctor introduces the anoscope, the sensation is of heaviness in the area of ​​the anus, although at no time does it cause pain. The most important thing during the test is that you stay as relaxed as possible and do not contract your sphincter. Once the anoscope is inserted, the doctor will insert the camera with the built-in lamp to explore the dinner and, after a few minutes, will gradually remove the instrument.

Finally, once the anoscope is removed, he will clean the area, ending the test.

This is the usual procedure for an anoscopy. However, on certain occasions, extra procedures are necessary.

  • High resolution: if it is necessary to explore the anal canal and the lower part of the rectum in greater detail, the doctor will apply a liquid that provides a fluorescent color to the walls of the rectum to detect any type of abnormality in them. Before the application of this liquid, the most common sensation among patients is a slight burning.
  • Biopsy: as we have pointed out, anoscopy also allows the collection of tissue samples to diagnose a possible tumor, both benign and benign. Taking the biopsy may be a bit painful; it feels like a small pinprick that lasts just a second.

It hurt?

This is one of the most common questions among patients who must undergo anoscopy. Well, the reality is that it does not hurt since the anoscope is only inserted a few centimeters through the anal canal. Immediately after the exam, you can resume normal activity.

Are there any complications?

Anoscopy is a very simple medical test that rarely presents any type of complication. However, although they are not frequent, complications do exist.

Taking into account that complications are rare, one of the most common is that the anoscope has damaged the wall of the rectum, causing a small wound that can lead to slight anal bleeding. If the anoscopy has been done to diagnose internal hemorrhoids, it is common for them to bleed the days after the exam.

Anoscopy results

After a few days have elapsed from the test, the patient must go to the consultation to receive the test results.

If the anoscopy values ​​are normal , it means that the anal canal is completely normal in size, color, and tone ; there is no evidence of hemorrhoids, polyps, or any other unusual tissue.

If the examination has resulted in abnormal values, these may be due to a wide range of pathologies: fissures, hemorrhoids, polyps, tumors … Sometimes it is necessary to perform additional tests to diagnose the disease.


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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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