Definition An proctoscopy is a procedure in which a small tube is inserted into the anus to allow a doctor to see the details of the anus and anal canal.
Who is a candidate for the test? An proctoscopy may be ordered for persons who have pain in the rectum or anus. It can be ordered if the person's doctor suspects haemorrhoids or other abnormalities of the anus. The test may also be performed to check for anal fissures, or abnormal openings between the anus and the skin.
How is the test performed? The doctor first performs a digital rectal examination. This is done by inserting a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum. The proctoscope is a tube-shaped optical device designed specially for this test. It has a light that allows the doctor to see inside the anal canal. If an abnormal area is observed, a piece of tissue can be biopsied, or removed for testing in the laboratory.
What is involved in preparation for the test? The doctor will provide specific instructions to prepare for this test.
What do the test results mean? The anal canal normally looks healthy in shape, colour, and size. An proctoscopy can detect:
Author: David T. Moran, MD Reviewer: HealthAnswers Australia Medical Review Panel Editor: Dr David Taylor, Chief Medical Officer HealthAnswers Australia Last Updated: 1/10/2001 Contributors Potential conflict of interest information for reviewers available on request
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