Ask our Expert – Mrs Sara Badvie
Discussing Haemorrhoids with expert General & Colorectal Surgeon
Dear Mrs Badvie
I’ve got a problem but it’s a bit embarrassing. Sometimes when I go to the toilet for a ‘number two’, I see blood on the paper or in the toilet. I think I’ve probably just got haemorrhoids but I’m not sure how to tell. Should I be worried?
Thank you for raising this. I often see patients with rectal bleeding in my specialist colorectal clinic – so you are certainly not alone.
As you say, you might have haemorrhoids (piles), which are engorged blood vessels inside and around the anus. These often form with constipation and straining at stool. Self-help measures such as increasing the amount of fibre in your diet and drinking plenty of fluids will soften and regulate your stools to help reduce straining and bleeding.
However, it is really important not to assume that all bleeding from the bottom is due to haemorrhoids because there can be other causes within the bowel – such as inflammation, polyps and cancer. These may be more likely if you have also experienced a change in bowel habit, weight loss or have a family history of bowel cancer. You should seek advice from your GP, who may decide you should see a colorectal surgeon to help find the right diagnosis and treat it. You may need to have a colonoscopy, which is a camera test to look inside the bowel to check it. So it is best to seek help if your bleeding continues.
Mrs Sara Badvie is a Consultant General, Colorectal & Laparoscopic Surgeon at Highgate Private Hospital, specialising in bowel and abdominal symptoms, rectal bleeding and pain, constipation and diarrhoea, haemorrhoids, anal fistula and pilonidal disease, hernia surgery (all types, laparoscopic and open), colonic polyps, colonoscopy, skin cysts, lipomas and gallstones.
A private initial consultation with Mrs Sara Badvie at Highgate Private Hospital costs £250 if you are self-funding your treatment. The hospital is approved by all major health insurers, and so welcomes patients with private health insurance.
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