The severity of rectal bleeding (ie, the quantity of blood that is passed) varies widely. Most episodes of rectal bleeding are mild and stop on their own. Many patients report only passing a few drops of fresh blood that turns the toilet water pink or observing spots of blood on the tissue paper.
Rectal bleeding also may be moderate or severe. Patients with moderate bleeding will repeatedly pass larger quantities of bright or dark red blood often mixed with stools and/or blood clots. Patients with severe bleeding may pass several bowel movements or a single bowel movement containing a large amount of blood.
Origin of rectal bleeding (where the blood comes from)
Most rectal bleeding comes from the colon, rectum, or anus, the lower end of the gastrointestinal tract. The colour of blood during rectal bleeding often depends on the location of the bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract. Generally, the closer the bleeding site is to the anus, the brighter red the blood will be. Thus, bleeding from the anus, rectum and the sigmoid colon tends to be bright red, whereas bleeding from higher in the colon tends to be dark red or maroon coloured.
For those experiencing significant rectal bleeding, arrangements can be made with all of our clinics for an appointment to be seen on the same day.
Clinics are organised throughout the week to ensure that one of our colorectal surgeons is always available for an urgent same day appointment.
For early, non-urgent appointments, additional clinics are arranged to ensure minimal delay.
Patients can often be managed on a one visit basis however a full consultation and history taking will provide the surgeon with a comprehensive assessment on which to appropriately advise on the best course of treatment.
GPs can call 8566 1003 or phone our 1300 553 347 number to speak with our Practice Nurse for an appointment.