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You’re not alone
When you realize that more than 10 million people in the U.S. currently experience hemorrhoid symptoms, and that three out of four people will develop hemorrhoids at some time in their lives, you can stop feeling embarrassed and start talking to your doctor. Hemorrhoid treatment no longer involves painful surgery and most often can occur in the comfort of your doctor’s office.
Hemorrhoids are swelling from enlarged veins in the rectum or anal area. We don’t know for sure what causes them, but hemorrhoids are often found in people who sit or stand a lot, have low fiber diets or poor bowel habits. Other factors that can contribute are pregnancy, age and heredity. Hemorrhoids are often felt as a swelling in the anal area. There may be soreness, discharge or bleeding during bowel movements. There are two types. Internal hemorrhoids develop inside the anus. The most common symptoms are bleeding during bowel movements or protrusion through the anus upon straining. External hemorrhoids develop around the anus and can be very painful, especially if a blood clot develops within them. They can be felt as a firm lump or lumps around the anus.
External hemorrhoids could take four to six weeks for the lumps to subside, although the pain could go away within a week. If pain is severe, your doctor may decide to make a small incision under anesthesia and remove the clot to provide immediate relief. Internal hemorrhoids can be treated when first discovered by increasing fiber and fluids in your diet and taking warm baths, but when they persist, the most widely used, safe and efficient treatment is infrared coagulation.
Your doctor inserts a small probe to the area above the hemorrhoid and exposes the tissue to a burst of infrared light for about one second. This coagulates the blood in veins above the hemorrhoid, which causes it to shrink and recede. You may feel a sensation of heat very briefly, but it is generally not painful and anesthetic is usually not required. Most patients are able to return to their normal activities the same day, although there may be slight spot bleeding a few days later. Heavy straining or lifting should be avoided, and aspirin should not be taken for a few days.
For patients who have more than one hemorrhoid, your doctor will recommend two or three treatments at two-week intervals. Millions of people have been treated with infrared coagulation and for most who eat a healthy diet and exercise, they remain hemorrhoid-free.
What are hemorrhoids and who gets them?
Hemorrhoids are swelling in the rectum or anal area that may protrude through the anus on straining. They usually contain enlarged veins and are most common in people over he age of 50.
What causes hemorrhoids?
We don’t know for sure, but hemorrhoids are often found in people who either sit or stand a lot, have low fiber diets or poor bowel habits. Other factors that can contribute are pregnancy, age and heredity.
What are the symptoms?
Hemorrhoids can be often be felt as a swelling in the anal area. There may be soreness, discharge or bleeding during bowel movements.
Are hemorrhoids preventable?
No one know for sure. Avoid straining or extensive sitting on the toilet. A diet rich in fluids, fruits, vegetables and fiber is desirable. If symptoms develop, see your doctor without delay.
Are there different kinds of hemorrhoids?
Yes. Internal hemorrhoids develop inside the anus. The most common symptoms are bleeding through bowel movements or protrusion through the anus upon straining.
External hemorrhoids develop around the anus and can be very painful, especially if a blood clot develops within them. They can be felt as a firm lump or lumps around the anus.
How are hemorrhoids treated?
When treated early, hemorrhoids usually disappear within a week or two. By increasing fiber and fluids in your diet, your stool will soften thereby promoting more regular bowel movements. It also helps to eliminate excessive straining and to take warm baths.
Most painful external hemorrhoids will respond to rest and warm sits baths. Within a week the pain should subside. The firm lump should completely recede within 4-6 weeks. If pain is severe, the physician may decide to make a small incision under anesthesia and remove the clot to provide immediate relief.
What is Infrared Coagulation?
Infrared coagulation (IRC) is the most widely used office treatment for internal hemorrhoids and is preferred over other methods because it is fast, well-tolerated by patients, and virtually problem-free. A small probe contacts the area above the hemorrhoid, exposing the tissue to a burst of infrared light for about one second. This coagulates the veins above the hemorrhoid causing it to shrink and recede. The patient may fell a sensation of heat very briefly, but it is generally not painful. Therefore anesthetic is usually not required.
Are there any after effects?
Generally not. Most patients return to a normal lifestyle the same day. There may be slight spot bleeding a few days later. Heavy straining or lifting should be avoided and aspirin should not be taken for a few days.
How many visits are required?
All patients are different. Your physician will make that determination after a thorough examination. Many patients have more than one hemorrhoid.
Therefore, most physicians recommend two or three visits at two-week intervals, treating a different portion of the hemorrhoid tissue each visit.
Will the hemorrhoids come back?
Millions of patients have been treated with IRC. Experience tells us that hemorrhoids treated with IRC generally do not recur. A sensible diet, moderate exercise and proper bowel habits will also help.
|Office||Office||Operating Room||Office||Operating Room|
|Anesthesia||None needed||None needed||General||None||General|
|None||Low||None||High if too close|
|None||None||High||Low or none||Low to Moderate|