Most patients with rectal bleeding from hemorrhoids have intermittent bright red blood with bowel movements, no weight loss, no abdominal pain, and no recent change in their bowel habits. Colonoscopy is not necessary before patients with typical hemorrhoid bleeding are banded and cured of their hemorrhoids. Although many Gastroenterologist, GI Specialist, Proctologists, and Colorectal Surgeons do recommend prebanding colonoscopy we do not find that necessary in the vast majority of cases we see.
In a very small minority of patients, rectal bleeding is atypical or persists and we do recommend colonoscopy. Patients over the age of 50 should have colonoscopy every 10 years. Patients with increased risk factors such as previous cancer, polyps, inflammatory bowel disease and 1st degree relatives with colon polyps or cancer will require colonoscopy more often.