Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Your doctor may be able to see if you have external hemorrhoids simply by looking. Tests and procedures to diagnose internal hemorrhoids may include:

  • Examination of your anal canal and rectum for abnormalities. During a digital rectal exam, your doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into your rectum. He or she feels for anything unusual, such as growths. The exam can give your doctor an indication of what further testing might be appropriate.
  • Visual inspection of your anal canal and rectum. Because internal hemorrhoids are often too soft to be felt during a rectal examination, your doctor may also examine the lower portion of your colon and rectum with an anoscope, proctoscope or sigmoidoscope. These are scopes that allow your doctor to see into your anus and rectum.

Your doctor may want to do a more extensive examination of your entire colon using colonoscopy. This might be recommended if:

  • Your signs and symptoms suggest you might have another digestive system disease
  • You have risk factors for colorectal cancer
  • You're older than age 50 and haven't had a recent colonoscopy
Jun. 19, 2013

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