Hemorrhoids or other relatively benign conditions can cause rectal bleeding. However, it can also signal a more serious health concern, including colon cancer. You can rely on the specialists at Fairfax Colon & Rectal Surgery, PC to accurately diagnose and effectively treat what’s causing your rectal bleeding. Schedule an evaluation today. Call their office in Fairfax, Fair Oaks, Alexandria, Gainesville, Woodbridge, or Lansdowne, Virginia. Or use their secure online service to request an appointment.
If you’re experiencing rectal bleeding, you might notice blood on the toilet paper with wiping, in the toilet bowl, or on your stool. The color can range from bright red to dark maroon to black.
The amount can vary from a few drops of blood to several tablespoons or more. Sometimes the blood is only visible through a microscopic stool analysis.
There are many possible causes of rectal bleeding, including:
The color of the blood sometimes provides clues to the underlying cause of rectal bleeding. For instance, bright red blood may indicate a problem in the lower gastrointestinal tract, including the colon or rectum.
Dark brownish-red or maroon blood may signal bleeding in the small intestine. Black or tarry stools are sometimes a symptom of problems in the stomach or upper small intestine. A small pinkish smear of blood on the toilet paper with wiping may signal skin irritation around the anus.
To diagnose the cause of rectal bleeding, your Fairfax Colon & Rectal Surgery, PC provider starts with a careful evaluation that includes a detailed review of your history, symptoms, and physical exam.
Sometimes, a physical exam is enough to identify hemorrhoids or skin tears (anal fissures) that might be causing the bleeding. Reviewing symptoms occurring along with your rectal bleeding may also help. For instance, cramping abdominal pain, bloating, and bloody stools may indicate diverticulitis.
Otherwise, your FCRS provider recommends further diagnostic studies based on your initial evaluation results. Your strategy might include:
Many of these tests are performed in-office for your convenience. Your FCRS provider discusses the reason for the study and what you can expect before, during, and after any procedure before it’s scheduled.
Don’t ignore rectal bleeding. Schedule an evaluation at FCRS today by calling the nearest office or requesting an appointment using their secure online service.