High-Resolution Anoscopy

High-resolution anoscopy is a procedure that is used to examine the anus for abnormal cells. The procedure is done in the clinic and takes about 30 minutes. This is a same-day procedure done with a local anesthetic. You will not be put to sleep and do not need someone to drive you home.

How to Prepare

You do not need to do anything special in order to prepare. This is a “come as your are” procedure. Starting 24 hours before your exam, avoid using any douches, enemas, lubes or creams in the anal canal. It is also important to avoid anal sex the day before and the day of your appointment. Anything inserted, into the anal canal within a day of the procedure decreases the chances of finding abnormal results.

What to Expect

During the anoscopy, you will lie on your left side with your knees drawn up slightly toward your chest.

The doctor will look at the outside of your anus first. Then insert their finger, using a numbing lubricate, to feel for any lumps or bumps. A thin hollow tube called an anoscope will then be inserted about two inches into the anus.

Next, a cotton swab covered with acetic acid, a solution similar to vinegar, will be inserted through the anoscope and into the anus. The anoscope will be removed, leaving the cotton swab behind. The acetic acid on the cotton swab will cause any abnormal tissue to turn white.

After a few minutes, the cotton swab will be removed. The anoscope will then be reinserted. A microscope mounted on a mobile stand will then be used to look at the inside of your anus.

If anything abnormal is seen, the doctor will inject a numbing medicine and clip a small piece of tissue to send to the lab. The lab will give results to your doctor in about 2 weeks. You will be contacted with the results and follow up plan 2 to 3 weeks after your appointment.

For more information on anoscopy, talk to your provider or call 202.745.7000 or text 202.978.6123 to help answer your questions.