A careful physical exam, including a
digital rectal exam, is needed to help diagnose
hemorrhoids if you have rectal bleeding, itching, discomfort, or pain. Results
of the exam can help your doctor know whether further testing is needed.
During the exam, you will lie on your side with your knees drawn to
your chest. Some exam rooms have a table that holds you in a "head down,
buttocks up" position.
Your doctor will:
Look to see if you have external hemorrhoids and
large (third- or fourth-degree) internal hemorrhoids that bulge from the
Insert a gloved, lubricated finger into your anus to feel for
hemorrhoids or other abnormalities in the anal canal and rectum.
A digital rectal exam is often followed by inspection of the anal
canal with a lighted instrument called an anoscope.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerKenneth Bark, MD - General Surgery, Colon and Rectal Surgery