Rectal Bleeding

Interventional and Endovascular Surgery in Stockbridge and Camp Creek, Atlanta, GA

Rectal Bleeding

Rectal bleeding can be frightening when you see bright red blood in the toilet, but that usually means you have hemorrhoids. At Georgia Vascular Institute, vascular surgeon and interventional radiologist Kevin Carson, MD, CAQ, treats bleeding caused by hemorrhoids using a cutting-edge, nonsurgical procedure: hemorrhoidal embolization. Your embolization is an outpatient procedure that causes little to no discomfort, stops the bleeding, and gets you back to work the next day. To learn more, call the office in Atlanta or Stockbridge, Georgia, today or request an appointment online.

Rectal Bleeding Q & A

What is rectal bleeding?

Rectal bleeding occurs when blood passes out of your anus. The blood may originate anywhere in your stomach, intestines, rectum, and anus. Though it can leak out at any time, rectal bleeding usually occurs when you have a bowel movement.

If you can see the blood (sometimes you can’t), it appears several ways. You may see:

  • Bright red fresh blood after a bowel movement (in your toilet bowl or on toilet paper)
  • Red streaks in your stool
  • Dark red stools
  • Tarry black stools

The color gets darker the farther blood travels through the gastrointestinal tract. Black stools often begin with stomach bleeding, while bright red bleeding originates in your lower colon, rectum, or anus.

You may not be able to see bleeding if there’s only a small amount in your stool. This type of rectal bleeding, called occult bleeding, can only be identified with a lab test.


What causes rectal bleeding?

Rectal bleeding has several possible causes, including:

  • Hemorrhoids
  • Constipation
  • Colon polyps
  • Colon cancer
  • Diverticulitis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Anal fissure (cut or tear in the anal lining)
  • Infectious colitis (bacterial infection in the colon)

Hemorrhoids (swollen, blood-engorged blood vessels in the anus) are the most common cause of bright red rectal bleeding.


How is rectal bleeding treated?

Your treatment depends on the cause of your rectal bleeding. Your primary care doctor may run lab tests and diagnose the condition, or they may refer you to a gastroenterologist. But if you have hemorrhoids, you should see Dr. Carson.

Dr. Carson specializes in hemorrhoidal embolization. He uses the procedure to treat rectal bleeding caused by internal hemorrhoids that prolapse (protrude out of the anus) and spontaneously go back into the anus or can be pushed into place manually.


How does hemorrhoidal embolization treat rectal bleeding?

During an embolization, Dr. Carson repairs the hemorrhoid from inside your blood vessels. He makes a tiny cut in your groin or wrist, inserts a catheter into a blood vessel, and guides it through your body to the hemorrhoid.

He injects tiny coils or particles (embolic agents) into the artery that is carrying blood to the hemorrhoid. The embolic agents clump together, blocking the blood from reaching the hemorrhoid. 

The vessels in the hemorrhoidal tissues return to their normal size, the hemorrhoids shrink, and your bleeding stops.

Call Georgia Vascular Institute today or connect online to request an appointment and get effective treatment for rectal bleeding due to hemorrhoids.