Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.
To diagnose hemorrhoids, your doctor will rule out other problems and determine how bad your hemorrhoids are. After the evaluation, your doctor will help you decide on a treatment plan that's best for you.
A medical history helps your doctor learn more about your symptoms and overall health. This often includes questions about your bowel habits and diet. You may also be asked how often you exercise and whether you take any medications. Be sure to mention if any members of your family have had cancer or polyps of the colon.
During a physical exam, you'll be asked to lie on an exam table. You'll then be examined for signs of swollen hemorrhoids and other problems. The exam takes just a few minutes. It is usually not painful.
A visual exam is used to view the outer anal skin.
A digital rectal exam is used to check for hemorrhoids or other problems in the anal canal. It is done using a lubricated gloved finger.
An anoscopic exam is done using a special viewing tube called an anoscope. The scope helps your doctor view the anal canal.
Based on the physical exam, your doctor may assign a grade to internal hemorrhoids. The grades are based on the severity of your symptoms.
Grade I hemorrhoids do not protrude from the anus. They may bleed, but otherwise cause few symptoms.
Grade II hemorrhoids protrude from the anus during bowel movements. They reduce back into the anal canal when straining stops.
Grade III hemorrhoids protrude on their own or with straining. They do not reduce by themselves, but can be pushed back into place.
Grade IV hemorrhoids protrude and cannot be reduced at all. They can also be painful and may require prompt treatment.
Discover leading-edge gastroenterology care. Call Digestive Disease Consultants of Orange County at 949.612.9090 or simply use the Request an Appointment form.