Tests and diagnosisBy 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 (DRE), 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 in 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 over age 50 (age 45 if you're black) and haven't had colonoscopy within 10 years
- Rectal problems. The American College of Gastroenterology. http://www.acg.gi.org/patients/women/rectal.asp. Accessed Oct. 21, 2010.
- Bleday R, et al. Clinical features of hemorrhoids. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 21, 2010.
- Bleday R, et al. Treatment of hemorrhoids. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 21, 2010.
- Corigliano MA. Hemorrhoids. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011. St. Louis, Mo.: Mosby; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..00017-2--sc0075&isbn=978-0-323-05610-6&sid=1071600329&type=bookPage§ionEid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..00017-2--sc0075&uniqId=223412356-4#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..00017-2--sc0075. Accessed Oct. 21, 2010.
- Sneider EB, et al. Diagnosis and management of symptomatic hemorrhoids. Surgical Clinics of North America. 2010;90:17.
- Christoforidis D, et al. Hemorrhoids, anal fissure, and anorectal abscess and fistula. In: Bope ET, et al. Conn's Current Therapy 2010. 61st ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6642-2..00007-7--sc0045&isbn=978-1-4160-6642-2&sid=1071600329&type=bookPage§ionEid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6642-2..00007-7--s0835&uniqId=223412356-4#4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6642-2..00007-7--s0835. Accessed Oct. 21, 2010.
- Cataldo P, et al. Practice parameters for the management of hemorrhoids (revised). Arlington Heights, Ill.: American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. http://www.guideline.gov/content.aspx?id=7284. Accessed Oct. 21, 2010.
- Picco MF (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 3, 2010.