Rectal bleeding: a quick guide

Written by: Mr Amir Ghanbari
Edited by: Aoife Maguire

Rectal bleeding is a common condition which may cause pain and discomfort and be a source of distress for patients. However, it may not always signify something serious. Here to provide a guide to rectal bleeding is leading colorectal surgeon Mr Amir Ghanbari, who discusses the common causes of the condition, and treatment options.



What are the common causes of rectal bleeding?


Rectal bleeding can happen as a result of a variety of conditions, including the following:


Is rectal bleeding always a sign of a serious medical condition?


Contrary to popular belief, rectal bleeding does not always indicate a serious underlying condition. In fact, the majority of cases of visible rectal bleeding are caused by benign conditions. That being said, as bleeding can also be a sign of a more serious condition, it should never be ignored.


For this reason, it is recommended that those experiencing rectal bleeding to seek advice from a specialist colorectal surgeon. These experts are equipped to carefully assess the symptoms and conduct thorough examinations/investigations to determine the root cause of the bleeding.


How is rectal bleeding diagnosed and evaluated by doctors?


The diagnosis of rectal bleeding typically involves gathering the patient's medical history and carrying out a physical examination. This information is usually supplemented with further investigations, typically an endoscopic examination such as colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy.


What are the treatment options for rectal bleeding and haemorrhoids?


Haemorrhoids treatment depends on the size and grade (1 to 4) of haemorrhoids.

Very small haemorrhoids can be treated by using laxatives, avoiding straining and constipation and perhaps topical creams and suppositories.

Small internal haemorrhoids can be banded using a special device.

On the other hand, larger external haemorrhoids typically require surgical excision. There are a variety of surgical treatment options for excising haemorrhoids. Your surgeon can provide guidance on which treatment is most likely to be effective for your specific situation.


When should I seek immediate medical attention for rectal bleeding?


If a patient experiences severe and excessive bleeding, it is crucial for them to go to the nearest emergency department for assessment. Any bleeding coupled with alterations in bowel patterns, discomfort, or weight loss should be taken seriously, urging the patient to make an appointment for an evaluation with their doctor.





If you are concerned about rectal bleeding and would like to book a consultation with Mr Ghanbari, head over to his Top Doctors profile today.

By Mr Amir Ghanbari
Colorectal surgery

Mr Amir Ghanbari is a highly respected consultant colorectal and general surgeon based in London. He specialises in treatment for colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases and rectal bleeding. He is also expert in performing haemorrhoid and hernia surgery as well as gallbladder procedures.

Mr Ghanbari was awarded a bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery degree from the University of Dundee in 2002. He then went on to complete further training in surgery in London and the East Midlands, including a specialist fellowship in inflammatory bowel disease. He was appointed consultant colorectal surgeon at Bristol’s Southmead Hospital and has since returned to London. He is clinical director for the general surgery department and colorectal lead at Homerton University Hospital and also sees patients privately at The Princess Grace Hospital and The London Independent Hospital

Mr Ghanbari is a leading educator in his field and instructs on courses for medical trainees on basic surgical skills and caring for the critically ill. Additionally, he lectures and supervises medical students as part of their training. He has written numerous academic papers and maintains an active interest in research. He also shares his expertise at national and international meetings with fellow surgeons.

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