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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What can I expect when being tested for hemorrhoids?

    I made an appointment to see a doctor after discovering blood in my stool. I suspect I may have hemorrhoids and want to get tested. What should I expect during the exam?
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    Dr Andrew Sutherland

    Colorectal Surgeon (Bowel)

    I am a specialist colorectal surgeon treating a range of bowel diseases and am committed to providing the best of care for all patients. It … View Profile

    If you see your doctor because of bleeding in the stool you can expect to be asked a lot of questions.  Passing blood through the anus is most commonly due to haemorrhoids but can be the result of a wide variety of other conditions including anal fissure, inflammatory bowel disease and importantly bowel cancer.  The doctor will try to determine which is the most likely cause in your situation.  It is important to understand that most of the time the exact cause cannot be determined with certainty simply based on the history of the bleeding.  As such a physical examination and potentially a colonoscopy or other tests may e required

    Haemorrhoids are enlarged veins in the anus (back passage).  To look for them will require examination of the anus.  This usually involves examination with a finger in the anus.  Often small haemorrhoids cannot be felt because they are soft veins.  In this case a proctoscope may be inserted into the anus to allow the haemorrhoids to be seen.

    Remember that you doctor may well be looking for cancer not just haemorrhoids if you have had bleeding from the bowel

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