Anoscopy is a procedure used to visualize the perianal area, anal canal, and distal rectum. It is used primarily to evaluate the patient with perianal and anal complaints, and thus is performed commonly in both the ambulatory care setting Emergency Department. Anoscopy is always performed AFTER a digital rectal exam (DRE), thus both the DRE and Anoscopy procedures will be described in detail in this module.

The DRE may be performed on its own as part of the routine male genital exam or as the initial step of the Anoscopy procedure. This module will focus on the DRE as part of the Anoscopic exam, thus the indications and contraindications described will primarily reflect those of the patient with anal/perianal complaints. However, the procedure outlined is identical to that used when performing the DRE during the routine male genital exam, and thus can be applied accurately to either setting.