How are Hemorrhoids Diagnosed
People with hemorrhoids usually discover they have the condition in many ways. A person can feel a lump of an external hemorrhoid during cleaning after a bowel movement. Or one notices drops of blood on the toilet paper or toilet bowl.
Another can feel a prolapsing hemorrhoid after excreting. An individual can experience severe pain during a thrombosed external hemorrhoid or when gangrene develops from a prolapsed internal hemorrhoid.that can’t be pushed back in. Itching and general anal discomfort are among other symptoms though these can also be caused by other anal conditions like anal fissures.
A physician can deduce the presence of hemorrhoid by looking at a person’s history of symptoms. It is important though to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms because they require different treatments. The other causes like anal fissures, infections,fistulae, tumors and perianal skin diseases can be diagnosed by examining the anal canal and anus. Scrappings from the anus can be taken for any infection or a biopsy of the perianal skin can be done to ascertain the true condition behind what seems to be symptoms of hemorrhoids.
An external hemorrhoid can appear as a bump or darkened area that surrounds the anus. A thrombosed hemorrhoid is characterized by a tender lump. The presence of a lump should be carefully analyzed and must not be mistaken easily as a hemorrhoid. There are instances when the lump is a rare form of perianal cancer posing as a hemorrhoid.
If a hemorrhoidal cushion protrudes from the anus, it’s easy to realize that it’s an internal hemorrhoid. Discovering an internal hemorrhoid above the anal canal via rectal examination is also common. Rectal examinations also exclude rare cancers that start in the rectum and anal canal.
A physican can also use an anoscope to visually examine a suspected internal hemorrhoid. Made of metal or plastic, an anoscope is a 3-inch long, tapering hollow tube (approximately 1 inch in diameter at its viewing end). Before insertion in the anus, the anoscope is lubricated. Then it is maneuvered through the anal canal and into the rectum.
When withdrawn, the anoscope can have a better view of the internal hemorrhoid
as is the patient’s simulation of a bowel movement to cause the hemorrhoid
more prominent. The use of anascopy as a viewing instrument js also a good
way to diagnose anal fissures.
Sometimes also, indirect anascopy is employed.
This is when a special mirror is used to view the anus while the patient sits on a toilet and strains to simulate a bowel movement. This method allows the viewing of the effects of gravity during straining of the anus. The colon should also be examined whether or not hemorrhoids are diagnosed to rule out other causes of bleeding.
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