The Common Causes of Minor Rectal Bleeding | Minneapolis & St Paul

Minor rectal bleeding is one of the common symptoms that the Minnesotan patients seek for the medical care. It refers to the passage of small amount of bright red and fresh blood from the rectum and anus, which may appear on the surface of stool, on the toilet paper or in the toilet bowl.

This blog mainly discusses on the conditions with minor rectal bleeding that occurs intermittently. Rectal bleeding can be caused by various conditions, but even the slightest amount of bleeding should be taken seriously. Common causes of minor bleeding are internal hemorrhoids, ruptured thrombosed external hemorrhoids, fissures, fistula, diverticulosis, colon cancer, colitis, and polyps. Patients of older age or with significant family history of bowel disease or cancer should consider further examination. In addition, patients who were previously treated for rectal bleeding but continued to experience bleeding must be further examined.

The source of minor rectal bleeding is determined by history, physical examination and endoscopies. In the initial office visit, your doctor may inspect the anus visually to look for anal warts, anal fissures, cancer or external hemorrhoids, and followed by the digital examination with a gloved, lubricated finger and then anoscopy to look for abnormalities and sources of bleeding in the lower rectum and anal canal. If indicated, your doctor may also perform endoscopies, either sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy.

Anoscopy is a rectal exam with a very short (3 to 4 inch) rigid metal tube to examine the lower rectum and anal canal, it is very useful when your doctor suspects hemorrhoids, anal fissures and other anorectal diseases.

A flexible sigmoidoscopy is to uses a short (24 inches) and flexible tube with a camera to examine the lower colon and rectum.

Colonoscopy is a test that examines the lining of the entire colon for abnormal growths, such as polyps or cancer. A long tube is passed into your bowel, and a light on the end allows the examiner to see the inside of the bowel. If anything abnormal is found, a small biopsy will be done, and polyps or growths can be removed.

The management of minor rectal bleeding mainly focuses on the treatments of the underlying diseases.

Rubber band ligation for the Treatments of Internal Hemorrhoids | Minnesota

Rubber band ligation is one of the most common outpatient treatments available for the Minnesotan patients with internal hemorrhoids. It is a better option for patients with prolapsed hemorrhoids. A number of prospective studies have found rubber band ligation to be a simple, safe, and effective method for treating symptomatic second- and third-degree internal hemorrhoids as an office procedure with significant improvement in quality of life. This procedure is almost never appropriate if there is insufficient tissue to be pulled inside the band ligator drum, such as grade 1 or mild grade 2 hemorrhoids, and it should not be done with the most severe (grade 4) hemorrhoids, either.

Rubber band ligation is an office procedure in which the prolapsed hemorrhoid tissue is tied off at its base with rubber bands, cutting off the blood flow to the hemorrhoidal mass. It is contraindicated in the patients using anticoagulants and other anorectal diseases, such as local infection, acute thrombosis and chronic anal fissure.

The process involves a doctor inserting an anoscope into the anus and identifying and grasping the prolapsed hemorrhoid with an instrument to place a rubber band around its base. With the rubber band in place, the hemorrhoid shrinks and recedes, dying off in a few days or a week. The reduced volume of venous tissue with the scar formation prevents hemorrhoid tissue from bulging into the anal canal. The procedure is usually done in a doctor’s office and only takes a couple of minutes. Treatment is limited to one to two hemorrhoids each office visit, and additional areas may be treated at two week intervals.

What to expect after the rubber band ligation treatment:

After the banding procedure, most patients don’t feel much discomfort; some may feel tightness and mild pain or feel as if you need to have bowel movement. People respond differently to this procedure. Most patients are able to return to regular activities (but avoid heavy lifting) almost immediately. Others may need a few hours or a day of rest. If you feel some pain after banding, you may use Tylenol or Ibuprofen as needed and take a lot of Sitz baths for 15-30 minutes at a time to relieve discomfort.

Some patients may have slight rectal bleeding after a week, when the rubber band falls off. The bleeding usually stops by itself; however, if you notice significant rectal bleeding, then you should call your doctor’s office. It is also very important to make sure that your stool is soft by taking stool softeners containing fiber and drink more fluids.

Infrared Coagulation (IRC) for Hemorrhoids | Minnesota

Infrared coagulation (IRC) is a medical procedure used to mainly treat grade 1 to grade 2 internal hemorrhoids. This treatment is also used as an adjunctive treatment in conjunction with banding therapy or surgery for more severe hemorrhoids such as grade 3 and 4. During the procedure, the doctor uses an IRC device that creates an intense beam of infrared light. Heat created by the infrared light destroys vein complex and causes scar tissue, which cuts off blood supply to the hemorrhoid. Over the several weeks following the IRC treatments, the hemorrhoid shrinks and a scar formed in the lining of the anal canal, which holds nearby veins in place to prevent their prolapse.

Only one area of internal hemorrhoids can be treated at a time. Hemorrhoids patients typically get four IRC treatments at two week intervals.

Infrared coagulation is usually done in a doctor’s office in Minnesota. You may briefly feel heat and some stinging pain during the procedure, which lasts only 1-2 seconds in each touching.

What To Expect After Treatment:

Intermittent rectal bleeding could occur at any time within 14 days after the IRC procedure. Bleeding is usually minimal and mild, and resolves by itself after the treated areas heal.

  • You may use mild pain relievers such as Tylenol and sit in a shallow tub of warm water (sitz bath) for 15 to 30 minutes at a time to relieve discomfort.
  • To reduce the risk of bleeding, avoid taking aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for a week both before and after the infrared coagulation.
  • You take stool softeners that contain fiber to ensure smooth bowel movements and avoid strain.
  • One Stop Medical Center in Minnesota offers comprehensive hemorrhoid care, please call 952-922-2151 if you need a consultation.

    Manangement of Anal Skin Tags | Minnesota

    Have you been using too much toilet paper because of pesky anal tags? Hemorrhoidal skin tags are flaps of skin or flesh found around the anus. They often form as a result of an existing hemorrhoid. Hemorrhoids occur when veins in the anorectal areas become swollen and inflamed.

    Anal skin tags often occur if an individual heals the thrombosed external hemorrhoids at home without surgery, the thrombosed hemorrhoids may leave behind skin tags. Anal skin tags may also form because of non-hemorrhoid causes, such as anal fissure, surgery, or infection, etc. Despite the fact that people often confuse them with cancerous growths, skin tags are benign and present no serious health concerns.

    Hemorrhoidal skin tags often don’t cause significant rectal symptoms, but they often affect the cleansing after bowel movement. If feces become trapped beneath the skin tags, it can cause irritation and lead to itching and further inflammation. Skin tags can also cause pain when it flairs up or if there’s another underlying rectal problem.

    Patients suffering discomfort or itching due to hemorrhoidal skin tags can treat the condition with the following:

    • Thorough cleaning of the affected area after bowel movement. May use gentle cleansers, such as witch hazel or aloe vera extract.
    • Do a Sitz bath with warm water.
    • May use OTC hemorrhoid cream to reduce irritation and swelling.
    • If the skin tags frequently cause symptoms, individuals may consider having them removed surgically.
    • Most patients who have anal tags often have hemorrhoids, too, they should consider complete care by treating internal hemorrhoids before removal of anal tags or at the same time.

    Excision of anal tags:
    Anal tags can easily be removed in the office using local anesthetic. The procedure takes less than 10 minutes and patients are safe to drive immediately afterwards. There may be mild postoperative pain and discomfort with bowel movement in the first week. The patients are typically able to go back to work next day although the whole healing process may take a few weeks.

    Why Single Treatment Modality can’t Fix All Hemorrhoids

    There are three types of hemorrhoids – internal, external, and mixed hemorrhoids that consist of both internal and external. Internal hemorrhoids are graded from I to IV based on the degree of prolapse. Because no single treatment modality can fix all hemorrhoids, a true hemorrhoid clinic will offer multiple treatment modalities and options to meet a patient’s needs.

    Years ago, an IRC-only hemorrhoid clinic at France Avenue closed its business because a family physician treated every hemorrhoid patient with the single modality – Infra-red coagulation (IRC), regardless of the severity, type of hemorrhoids, and associated anorectal conditions. Poor quality care leads to poor results.

    Many patients with more advanced hemorrhoids need banding, and even the surgical excision of anal tags and external hemorrhoids. Many hemorrhoid patients have a comorbidity of anal fissure, fistula or anal warts, and need further management with special expertise for these associated medical problems.

    Most hemorrhoid patients have the symptom of rectal bleeding; a high quality hemorrhoid clinic should offer colonoscopy to rule out colon cancer and other colon diseases.

    No single treatment modality can fix all hemorrhoids or get rid of anorectal symptoms. Specialized hemorrhoid clinic should be able to offer multiple treatment modalities with cutting edge technologies to cure hemorrhoids and associated diseases.

    One Stop Medical center provides premier one stop hemorrhoid care. Regardless of how severe your hemorrhoids are, what kind hemorrhoids, or any associated anorectal diseases, we are able to find a solution for you. Supported by an outstanding medical team and equipped with cutting edge technology, our state-of-the-art accredited surgical center sets the standard for patient safety and high quality medical care.

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