BY DEAN PAPPAS M.D.
When it comes to health conditions involving the rectum or anus, many patients feel embarrassed about having open conversations with their doctor regarding symptoms or areas of concern. At Colon & Rectal Surgical Specialists of New York, our doctors are trained to care for colorectal disorders. We urge patients to be open and honest regarding issues such as rectal bleeding or anal pain, which may be a sign of a serious health problem. While these conditions need not be a source of embarrassment, they should be a source of concern. If rectal bleeding is a problem, patients should seek professional advice from one of our doctors as soon as possible. We offer our Long Island patients information regarding rectal bleeding causes and treatment and diagnose the source of their bleeding so that appropriate treatment can be offered.
Patients should understand that, although rectal bleeding should be a cause of concern, it need not be a reason to panic. There are many possible causes of rectal bleeding, several of which are minor health problems that can be easily treated. Below are the most common causes of rectal bleeding:
- Anal fissures, or small tears in the skin of the anus
- Hard stools or chronic constipation
While one of the above conditions can usually account for rectal bleeding, rarely it is a symptom of a serious disease or health condition, which is why prompt medical attention is always advised when rectal bleeding has been experienced. Below are some diseases and other health problems that may be a cause of rectal bleeding:
- Certain cancers, such as colorectal cancer and anal cancer
- Colon polyps
- Chron’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis
- Colon or rectum inflammation
Treating Rectal Bleeding
Rectal bleeding is treated on a case-by-case basis, with our doctors treating the cause of rectal bleeding in order to eliminate this problem at its source. When rectal bleeding is caused by anal fissures, hemorrhoids, or constipation, the bleeding will be temporary and should subside with non-invasive treatment and at home care to ease the pain that may be associated with rectal bleeding. Treatment may involve the use of topical and/or internal medication (only use those prescribed by our doctors), an increase in fiber intake, and the consumption of at least 10 glasses of water daily. In rare cases, anal fissures may be unresponsive to non-invasive treatment and will require surgery.
While rectal bleeding treatments vary, in the cases of cancer or other diseases, invasive treatments will likely be necessary. For instance, colorectal cancer is likely to require surgery to remove any tumors and may also require chemotherapy or radiation treatment.
Schedule an Appointment
When disease or other chronic health conditions are causing rectal bleeding, our team at CRSSNY is happy to discuss possible treatments for eliminating rectal bleeding and any associated anal pain. Schedule an appointment with one of our colorectal surgeons at your earliest convenience to determine the source of rectal bleeding and learn more about your treatment options. We look forward to hearing from you.