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What is an anoscopy?

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Quick Answer

An anoscopy is a medical procedure that lets a physician examine the gastrointestinal tract that includes the anus, anal area and lower rectum, reports Healthline. The procedure checks for abnormalities such as anal fissures, hemorrhoids, tumors, infection or inflammation, notes MedlinePlus.

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Full Answer

It is advisable for a patient to empty his bladder before the procedure to ensure comfort during the test, and the physician may provide the patient with a laxative to aid bowel movement, notes MedlinePlus. The physician conducts a digital rectal exam before inserting an anoscope into the rectum, according to Healthline. An anoscope consists of a hollow tube equipped with a light on one end to facilitate examination of tissue.

The patient may need to lie in the fetal position and to intensify internal muscles to facilitate entry of the anoscope. The doctor gently extracts the anoscope upon completion of the procedure. If needed, the physician may remove some tissue for further examination, notes MedlinePlus.

Although the procedure is painless, patients with hemorrhoids, which are swollen veins in the anus or rectum, may experience some bleeding, according to Healthline. Test results determine the course of treatment or the need for additional tests to rule out other medical conditions.

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