Colonoscopy and hemorrhoids: Why Colonoscopy is Essential AND How is the Exam
Hemorrhoids are swellings in the veins in the anal regions: internal or external (anus or rectum). They can be a source of pain, burns, and itching but also bleeding when the stage of the disease is more advanced. These bleeds are sometimes suspect, and only a specific consultation can explain the reasons for these bleeds. In this case, a colonoscopy is often performed by the doctor. This precise examination then makes it possible to determine the stage of advancement of internal hemorrhoids which are invisible.
Hemorrhoids and cancer, what link?
The Hemorrhoids are like varicose veins located in the anus. Inflated or irritated, they can be the cause of painful crises. They can also cause more or less significant bleeding that is detected in the stool. However, hemorrhoids do not get complicated by cancer. In contrast, bowel cancers sometimes have symptoms comparable to those of hemorrhoids, including bleeding in the stool.
Therefore, in case of bleeding and even if the diagnosis of hemorrhoids is confirmed, it is often advisable to carry out a colonoscopy as a precautionary measure, in search of possible colorectal cancer.
Screening for colorectal cancer
The official recommendations recommend carrying out an immunological test (finding a trace of blood in the stool) every two years from the age of 50. However, as not all colorectal cancers are accompanied by bleeding, colonoscopy is the gold standard for diagnosing colorectal cancers. It is classically prescribed after a positive immunoassay, but also in case of doubt, in the context of advanced screening or in at-risk subjects, for example in the case of family history or certain predisposing diseases.
The other common indication for colonoscopy is the presence of hemorrhoids associated with bleeding. This exam helps rule out a cancerous cause of bleeding.
What is a colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy or also called colonoscopy is a process that consists of an exploration of the colon to discover abnormalities that could be the source of several diseases including hemorrhoids. It can also be used for therapeutic purposes such as a polypectomy for example and for samples that will be used for analyzes. This method is used to detect any threat or beginning of cancer, and other ailments such as polyps or cancerous lesions or any other pathology.
Why choose colonoscopy?
It is currently the gold standard for exploring the rectum and colon. It is superior to radiological investigations to reveal any colon lesions; it allows biopsies (painless collection of a tissue fragment to study under a microscope) and removal of polyps.
Polyps should be removed because they may have a potential for degeneration into cancer.
How are polyps removed?
When their size and type of implantation on the intestinal wall allows, the polyps are removed during colonoscopy. The most common use is forceps or electrocautery. In the vast majority of cases, polyps are removed during colonoscopy. In rare cases, their size and the type of implantation will indicate surgery in a second step. The laser is only used in rare cases.
Colonoscopy is a medical examination using a colonoscope, and an anal exam for visual exploration. A long, thin hose with fiber optics and an end lighting device connected to a screen allows for a complete investigation of the targeted areas. The whole process can be done without anesthesia, but it is more appropriate to choose general anesthesia because a colonoscopy can sometimes be painful. A colon cleansing must be done before the operation, and this with the help of a preparation that the patient must drink the day before, and the same day of colonoscopy: it is to cause diarrhea for cleaning. The duration of this examination may vary: thirty minutes if it is just an exam, and more if other operations such as polyp removal are done.
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What is the interest of colonoscopy in case of hemorrhoids?
In the case of hemorrhoids, a colonoscopy is often indicated according to the progress of the hemorrhoidal analysis, but mainly when bleeding occurs during treatment with creams or suppositories. Indeed, the symptoms of hemorrhoid can be confused with that of bowel cancer, or colorectal cancer, because was the three cause bleeding in the stool. It is then necessary to do a colonoscopy even if the diagnosis of hemorrhoid has been validated by a doctor, to eliminate any possibility of cancer risk.
Given the number of people with hemorrhoids: an adult over 50 in two, it is safer to perform a colonoscopy. Indeed, the bodies of older people are more fragile, and therefore more prone to diseases and cancers.
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