Poster showing the section of the large intestine down to the rectum area

Hemorrhoids need to be checked by a doctor.  Without proper medication, hemorrhoids easily become a more severe problem.  If you are afflicted with hemorrhoids, it is vital  to get them diagnosed. It is also advisable to know what to expect from the examination and tests  procedures.  Your doctor will be able help you decide if bleeding and irritation are a result of hemorrhoids or something more serious. He or she will then be able to help you find the exact treatment for it. If you are having problems with hemorrhoids, a thorough doctor’s examination is necessary.  Prior to administering any tests, an examination will make the procedure easier for you and the doctor. Your doctor will be able to provide you with an accurate diagnosis and reduce your hemorrhoid-related pain.

An anoscope is the first type of commonly-used examination for hemorrhoids.  The doctor will use the anoscope to validate that hemorrhoids are the problem.  The anoscope, essentially a short hollow tube with a light on the end of it, is inserted approximately two inches into the anal canal.  The light will allow the doctor to look at the blood vessels, if they are swollen and to what degree. It is not necessary to fast before this procedure.

Proctoscopy is the second exam used for hemorrhoid diagnosis.  A proctoscope is very similar to the anoscope. It also consists of a hollow tube that is inserted into the colon.  However, the light at the end extends farther into the rectal area.  This is normally required if you are having problems with internal hemorrhoids.  It allows the physician to ascertain whether the bleeding is from hemorrhoids or is resultant from other digestive difficulty.

A third type of exam is called a sigmoidoscopy.  With this specific type of exam, as with the two previous, there will be a hollow tube with a light on the end that is inserted into your rectal area.  The sigmoidoscope is more flexible and permits the doctor to examine further into the rectal area.  During the course of a sigmoidoscopy, the doctor will not only be able to check the rectal area, but also remove any growth taking place in your digestive system that may be causing the hemorrhoids.  The primary reason a doctor would choose to use a sigmoidoscope is to bend around the colon to view the edges that may have the hemorrhoids attached to them.  With a sigmoidoscopy, it is vital that the colon is empty.  In order to clean out the colon, you may be required to take a laxative, use an enema or both, depending on your requirements. This allows them to better identify problems within the  rectal or in the colon area.

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