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Rectal Bleeding

Mark Bazalgette, M.D.

Colorectal Surgeon & Proctologist located in Novato, CA

Rectal bleeding isn’t always serious, but it can indicate an underlying problem. In Novato, California, Mark Bazalgette, M.D., is the only specialty-trained and board-certified colorectal surgeon in the area providing specialized care for rectal and colon problems that can cause rectal bleeding. Don’t ignore your symptoms if you have rectal bleeding; call Dr. Bazalgette or schedule an appointment online today.

Rectal Bleeding Q & A

What is rectal bleeding?

Rectal bleeding describes any kind of blood passing through your anus. Even though it’s called rectal bleeding, this blood can come from anywhere in your gastrointestinal tract or rectum.

When you have rectal bleeding, it can range in color from bright red to maroon or black. You can also have rectal bleeding that isn’t visible to the naked eye.

The amount of blood you pass if you have rectal bleeding can also vary. In mild cases, you might see a few bright-red spots on your toilet tissue after having a bowel movement. In other cases, you can pass several spoonfuls which can lead to additional health complications like anemia, low blood pressure, dizziness, and fainting.

What causes rectal bleeding?

You can have rectal bleeding for several reasons, including:

  • Hemorrhoids: Swollen veins inside your lower rectum or outside your anus
  • Anal fissures: Cuts or tears in your anal canal or anal tissue
  • Diverticulosis: Inflammation of your intestinal diverticula
  • Colitis: Inflammation in your colon’s lining
  • Polyps or colon cancer: Abnormal growths in your colon

Rectal bleeding doesn’t always cause pain or discomfort, but you might have other symptoms like abdominal cramps or diarrhea.

How do you diagnose and treat rectal bleeding?

Dr. Bazalgette works to diagnose the cause of your rectal bleeding by reviewing your medical history, discussing your symptoms, and performing a full physical exam. He might also recommend additional stool testing, blood tests, and diagnostic screenings.

The fastest way to diagnose rectal bleeding involves a flexible sigmoidoscopy. A flexible sigmoidoscopy is a specialized exam using a thin, flexible tube with a miniature camera attached to explore the inside of your rectum and the last two feet of your large intestine, also known as the sigmoid colon.

To explore your entire large intestine, Dr. Bazalgette performs a colonoscopy. This evaluation also uses a thin, flexible tube with a little camera, but it can explore your entire colon.

Dr. Bazalgette develops a personalized treatment strategy for your rectal bleeding based on its cause and location. For example, if he finds polyps during a flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy, Dr. Bazalgette can remove them. If you have hemorrhoids or anal fissures, Dr. Bazalgette recommends treatment based on their severity and your symptoms.

If you have rectal bleeding, call Mark Bazalgette, M.D., or schedule an appointment online today.