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Anal swelling Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Anal swelling. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:

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  1. How long have you noticed the lump

    Why: determine if acute or chronic.

  2. Was there an event that caused the lump to appear initially?

    Why: perianal haematoma may appear following straining at toilet or some other effort involving strain.

  3. Is the lump there all the time or does it come and go?

    Why: A lump that comes and goes indicates a prolapse of a lesion from the rectum e.g. rectal prolapse, rectal polyp or internal hemorrhoids.

  4. If the lump appears intermittently, what causes it to appear?

    Why: e.g. during bowel evacuation.

  5. Medical history of Inflammatory bowel disease?

    Why: may indicate increased risk of perianal abscess.

  6. Medical history of Diabetes?

    Why: may indicate increased risk of perianal abscess.

  7. History of Sexually transmitted infections?

    Why: may indicate increased chance of perianal warts.

  8. Is there a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps?

    Why: may indicate increased risk of rectal cancer, perianal abscess.

  9. How long have you noticed this anal swelling for?

    Why: Some causes of anal swelling such as some cancers/tumors tend to grow gradually and be present for some time. Similarly, Hemorrhoids tend to be a have a chronic time course. However some causes of anal swelling can be very acute, such as perianal abscess or anal trauma.

  10. Can you remember exactly what happened to make you notice it first?

    Why: Some anal swellings such a perianal hematoma/thrombosed external hemorrhoid or rectal prolapse can be preceded by straining.

  11. Is it painful?

    Why: Some types of hemorrhoids (particularly ones that cannot be replaced in the rectum - strangulated hemorrhoids) and inflammatory conditions (such as a perianal abscess) tend to be quite painful. So much so that they may limit your ability to sit or lie down.

  12. Have you noticed any blood on your tissue paper, blood in the toilet, or blood on your underwear?

    Why: These can be symptoms of hemorrhoids, which are an important cause of anal swellings.

  13. What does the swelling feel like?

    Why: Some swellings such as perianal abscess tend to be diffuse, whereas hemorrhoids may be felt more as small anal protrusions which can be easily replaced. Hemorrhoids however can feel quite large and may not feel like an anal protrusion.

  14. Does it come from within the anus, or is it felt as a swelling beside/around the anus?

    Why: Knowing where you have felt the swelling coming from is important. Conditions that cause a swelling to arise from the skin around the anus (skin tag) can be very different from those that cause swellings from within the anus (hemorrhoid, anal cancer, rectal prolapse).

  15. When you feel the swelling can you "push it back in", or make it (temporarily) disappear?

    Why: Some anal swellings can either fluctuate in size when you press on them (perianal abscess), or they may disappear (rectal prolapse, hemorrhoid). Of those that appear to disappear with pressure, some may recur as soon as the pressure is removed and some may recur at a later time. It is important for you to communicate all of these facts to your Health Professional to aid them in providing an accurate diagnosis and management plan.

  16. Is there pain associated with the swelling?

    Why: may indicate perianal haematoma, strangulated internal hemorrhoids, perianal abscess.

  17. Constipation?

    Why: predisposes to hemorrhoids, perianal haematoma, rectal prolapse.

  18. Rectal bleeding or blood on the toilet paper?

    Why: may indicate perianal haematoma, hemorrhoids, rectal or anal cancer, rectal polyp.

  19. Passage of mucous?

    Why: may occur with benign or malignant rectal tumors.

  20. Fever?

    Why: may indicate perianal abscess.

  21. Perianal itch?

    Why: may indicate hemorrhoids or genital warts.

  22. Weight loss?

    Why: may indicate malignancy.

  23. Prostate symptoms? May indicate prostate condition, but usually causes a feeling of rectal fullness rather than actual lump

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Anal swelling:

The following list of conditions have 'Anal swelling' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Anal swelling or choose View All.


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