GENERAL SURGERY

Colon & Rectal Surgery

Rectal Cancer

Delta Medix Patient General Information

Rectal Bleeding

Rectal bleeding often reveals itself as bright red blood on the toilet paper—usually after a bowel movement—or by turning the toilet bowl water red. Rectal bleeding can also present as extremely dark stool, ranging in color from deep red/maroon to black, and sometimes appearing tar-like (melena).

The color of the blood can indicate where the bleeding is occurring. When bright red blood is seen, it usually indicates bleeding low in the colon and rectum. Bleeding higher in the colon or small intestine is usually dark red or maroon in color. Tar-like color or melena usually indicates bleeding in the stomach, such as bleeding from ulcers.

Not all rectal bleeding is visible to the eye. In some cases, evidence of rectal bleeding can only be seen through a microscopic examination of a stool sample or by a test called a Hemoccult slide test which can be done in a doctor’s office.