Assessing a complaint of rectal bleeding requires taking a thorough history and concentrating on the character, amount, and frequency of the bleeding. The reader is encouraged to review the chapter on lower gastrointestinal hemorrhage. This chapter will focus on anorectal causes of bleeding that is mild and doesn’t compromise hemodynamic stability. Physical examination with particular attention to the presence of hemorrhoids, fissures, rectal masses, or signs of trauma must be performed at the initial visit. Rigid proctoscopy is used to assess the distal 25 cm of the colon, the rectum, and the anus. It is capable of detecting the benign conditions mentioned.
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