High Resolution Anoscopy (HRA)
When is this procedure indicated?
High Resolution Anoscopy (HRA) is recommended for every person, men and women, with a history of warts in the genito-anal area, women with known presence of cervical or vulvar HPV, men having sex with men and for every patient or subject with a transient or stabile reduction of the immune-competency. HRA is highly recommended for HIV patients and oncologic or immunosuppressed patients for any pathological/pharmacological reason.
How is it performed?
HRA is a rapid, quick and pain-free exam that allows the direct vision of the whole anal canal under significant magnification in order to spot any HPV infected areas. The whole duration of the test usually lasts no more than 5-10 minutes, doesn’t require any local or general anesthesia or bowel preparation. A high Definition camera with digital magnification, inserted in the anal canal and attached to a small dedicated device, visualizes the whole anal area to detect any HPV activity. In case of presence of condylomatas or pre-cancerous lesions a target treatment can be applied with a laser, electric or radio frequency energy, destroying the infected tissue and avoiding any further transformation in cancer.
It is a very little invasive procedure. Post-surgical recovery is usually very short, less than a week.
High Resolution Anoscopy as diagnostic modality is virtually free from any complication or morbidity. It is a non invasive exam that doesn’t require any sedation or local anesthesia. If a treatment of HPV infected areas is required, the extent and duration of the therapy might change depending on the diffusion and amount of lesions. Nevertheless, usually a full course of HPV induced lesions ablation can be performed as a single procedure under local or loco-regional anesthesia as a day-case. Minor bleeding or limited pain could be experienced after lesions ablation; topical treatments with ointments and creams and oral pain killers are the only recommendations after a HRA ablative procedure.