- Hemorrhoid Symptoms
- Causes of Hemorrhoids
- How to Treat Hemorrhoids
A hemorrhoidectomy is surgical removal of excess hemorrhoidal tissues that is performed on hemorrhoids that are large, extensive, or severe.
Hemorrhoid surgery (hemorrhoidectomy) is performed under general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia so the procedure itself does not cause pain. Patients are also usually given a long-acting local anesthetic right before they wake up to provide up to 12 hours of pain relief following the surgery.
However, once the anesthetic wears off, the recovery from hemorrhoid surgery can be painful for 2 to 4 weeks. Some bleeding is normal. To manage post-operative pain:
- Patients may be prescribed pain medication
- Application of topical numbing medicines may be recommended before and after bowel movements to manage pain
- Apply ice packs to the anal area to help reduce swelling and relieve pain
- Soaking in warm water (sitz baths) can help relieve pain and muscle spasms
- Use of stool softeners that contain fiber may be advised to help reduce straining during bowel movements
- Patients are advised to consume plenty of liquids and eat a bland diet such as the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast)
- Antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent infection
What Are Symptoms of Hemorrhoids?
Symptoms of hemorrhoids include:
- Rectal bleeding
- Bright red
- Usually only a small amount
- Often noticed after bowel movements
- Blood is visible on toilet paper after wiping following a bowel movement
- Anal itching or burning sensation
- Tissue bulging from the anal area
- May appear dark blue to purple in color if there is a blood clot
- Difficulty cleaning after a bowel movement
- Pain and pressure in the rectal area
- Feeling the need to have a bowel movement
- Fecal leaking
What Causes Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids may be caused by:
How Are Hemorrhoids Diagnosed?
Hemorrhoids are diagnosed with a patient history and a physical examination of the rectum and anus, which may involve a digital rectal exam in which a medical professional inserts a gloved finger into the rectum. External hemorrhoids are visible on examination.
Other tests to diagnose hemorrhoids include:
What Is the Treatment for Hemorrhoids?
Mild hemorrhoids may go away on their own in a few days.
Home treatments for hemorrhoids include:
- Warm sitz baths
- Available in drugstores
- Soak the buttocks in 2 or 3 inches of warm water for 10 to 15 minutes two to three times daily
- Do not use soap, bubble bath, or other additives in the water
- Increase fiber intake
- Increase fiber intake to help soften stools and help prevent constipation
- Fruits and vegetables are good sources of fiber
- The recommended amount of dietary fiber is 20 to 35 grams per day
- Fiber supplements
- Drink plenty of water
- Topical treatments
- Over-the-counter (OTC) pain-relieving creams and hydrocortisone rectal suppositories may help temporarily relieve pain, inflammation, and itching
- Do not use topical treatments for more than one week unless recommended by a doctor
- Use if increased fiber intake does not relieve constipation
- Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers
- Don’t sit on the toilet for long periods
- Don’t strain during bowel movements
Medical treatments for hemorrhoids include:
- Rubber band ligation
- Laser, infrared, or bipolar coagulation
- Hemorrhoidectomy (surgical removal of excess hemorrhoidal tissues)
- Stapled hemorrhoidopexy
- Hemorrhoidal arterial ligation
What Are Complications of Hemorrhoids?
Complications of hemorrhoids are uncommon and may include:
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