What is the role of colonoscopy in the workup of hemorrhoids?

Updated: Sep 24, 2019
  • Author: Kyle R Perry, MD; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, DSc, MSc, AGAF  more...
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Answer

Colonoscopy, virtual colonoscopy, and barium enema are reserved for cases of bleeding without an identified anal source. These symptoms are not attributable to hemorrhoids and are considered to be non–outlet-type bleeding. Barium enema study or virtual colonoscopy is also suggested if proximal colonic and intestinal diseases must be excluded and if endoscopy is not helpful.

Full evaluation of the large bowel with colonoscopy is recommended for patients with significant abdominal symptoms, weight loss, change in bowel habits, age older than 50 years, or other risk factors for colonic malignancy. The American Cancer Society recommends that people of average risk of colorectal cancer start regular screening at age 45.


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