Gastrointestinal Bleeding (cont.)
Gastrointestinal Bleeding Diagnosis
- A doctor will perform a complete history and physical exam to evaluate the
patient's problem. The physical will include a digital rectal exam, to test for visible or microscopic blood from
- The doctor may need to perform a procedure called an endoscopy or a colonoscopy. An endoscope is a long tube with a tiny camera at the end. It is passed into the stomach, and the first part of the small intestine. A colonoscopy refers to the passage of a tube with a tiny camera through the rectum into the colon, to directly see the source of bleeding. Both procedures can be diagnostic, finding the source of bleeding; and therapeutic, stopping it.
- Lab tests also can be helpful to determine the rate or severity of bleeding and to determine factors that may contribute to the problem.
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