Anoscopy fail?

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My dr performed an anoscopy after he performed fistula surgery and told me to do sitz bath for a month.  He said ill see you in a month.  If the sitz bath arent working for the pain, what are the chances the anoscopy failed to detect or see something when it was being performed by him?

  • Hello David

    Unfortunately any sort of procedure or op around the anus can be very painful, there are multiple nerves in the area and it can take some time for them to settle down.  Anoscopies aren't routinely performed here, but forum users in the States have an anoscopy as part of their checkups following treatment for anal cancer.  I would have thought that your doctor would have had a good look whilst he did the examination, but if you are unsure, it would be a good idea to share your concerns with him, especially if you have other unexplained symptoms.

    Sorry I can't be of more help.


  • Hi  ,

    As Irene has said the rectum & anal canal are packed full of nerve endings & any surgical procedure to the area can cause prolonged pain. I would have thought the sitz bath advice you were given was more from the prospective of hygiene & keeping the area super clean rather than for pain relief although I found after treatment for anal cancer myself I found soaking in an Epsom salt bath really soothing to the skin that was affected by the radiation. 

    I would have thought your Dr would have had a close look during your anoscopy & hopefully detected anything if there was something more sinister going on. I had a local resection to remove my tumour when first diagnosed & the pain post surgery was awful so I kind of understand where you’re coming from.

    I would give your Dr a call & ask for some advice regarding your pain & share your concerns with him, I’m sure he’ll be able to put your mind at rest & possibly offer you some more effective pain medication. 


  • But if my dr used any of these instruments to examine my bottom area, 

    How likely is it that he failed to see or detect something wrong by the fistula area where surgery had taken place?  I had fistula surgery and about month later had pretty bad constipation with blood... ever since then ive had minor chronic pain by the surgery site.  My dr told me to do sitz bath for one month but theyre not having an effect and im gonna see him back after one month.  I was taking metamucil along with stool softners the night before the constipation happened!  Im worried here... whats going on?  

  • Im sorry that i sent you the same post twice, wasnt sure if you both would be able to read my reply?  Hopefully both of you can see my reply and my concern and as to why im concerned...?  Rsvp. 

  • David

    You are obviously really worried, and I completely understand why.  We have all been on the path when something seriously wrong was found but that was after scans.  A few of our North American forum members regularly have these examinations after treatment and from what I can gather the doctor has a good view as he inserts the anoscope, whilst it is in and when he takes it out.  But if you are really worried, please get back in touch with the doctor and share your concerns. If you are taking pain killers they can cause constipation too. Unfortunately very few of us are medically qualified and only know from our own experiences with anal cancer and I personally can't give you assurances or tell you what is wrong, only a professional can do that.

    Please let us know how you get on.


  • But do these instruments fail or not in allowing the dr to see or detect something internally?  I only ask because i dont want anymore surgeries thats all... rsvp. 

  • So sorry David; I wish I could say they are foolproof but I don't think anything, regardless of how good the technology or the operator is, is foolproof.  There would always be room for a margin of error.  I understand you don't want more surgeries.

    Go and see your doctor, please, and put your mind at rest.


  • But how could an experienced colorectal surgeon who has like at least 30 years experience using such instruments/devices fail to see or detect some anomaly/abnormality when examining a patient then?  This baffles my mind?

  • Yeah but the margin for error would be minimal, marginal at best assuming it was a worst case scenario... rsvp.  

  • Hi David,

    I was unable to take the anoscope and my doctor had to examine me under anesthesia in order to get a good enough look to (finally) give me my diagnosis. But it's been explained to me that an experienced doctor who can go eyeball-to-eyeball with your inner sanctum through the scope can detect more accurately than many tests. 

    I had hemorrhoid surgery a year prior to my cancer diagnosis, and that was some terrible, long-lasting pain. No way did a Sitz bath, or Epsom salt baths, take the pain away. Your pain is very very unlikely to be due to something getting missed.

    No one wants more butt surgeries, and you probably won't need them. You need to ask for pain relief and get through the healing from the surgery. Try not to let yourself go too far down the 'What If' pathways. That way lies madness.