Hemorrhoids are caused by inflamed veins located inside or near the entrance to the anus, and can be caused by straining during bowel movements, obesity, or even pregnancy. They are typically described as either internal (inside the anus) or external (near the entry to the anus). External hemorrhoids can cause pain and discomfort during a bowel movement or while sitting. In comparison, internal hemorrhoids typically do not cause pain. However, they can lead to an itching sensation, and at times stick out of the anus.
There are several home treatment options for hemorrhoids, such as using cleansing agents like Balneol, Preparation H, eating increased amounts of fiber and more. However should these home remedies not work, how is one to go about seeking relief?
Nonsurgical treatment options offer effective treatment options for most small and some large internal hemorrhoids. Two of the most common treatment options are rubber band ligation and Infrared Coagulation, and are explained more below:
Rubber band ligation: This outpatient procedure involves doctors using rubber bands placed at the base of the hemorrhoid to cut off circulation to the hemorrhoid itself. If you experience severe pain once these bands have been placed notify your doctor. Typically, 1-2 hemorrhoids can be treated at a time, with others being treated in 4–6-week increments, although if a general anesthesia is used a larger amount can be treated in one sitting.
Infrared Coagulation: Also known as coagulation therapy, this treatment process involves the use of an intense beam of infrared heat. It is used on medium to large internal hemorrhoids. The heat causes the creation of scar tissue which cuts off blood flow to the hemorrhoid. It also ensures that nearby veins will not bulge out into the anal cavity. This treatment option allows for only 1 hemorrhoid to be treated at a time, with and remaining hemorrhoids treated in 10–14-day intervals.
Surgical treatment is the most effective form of hemorrhoid treatment and is known as a hemorrhoidectomy. These options are often used when:
Talk to your doctor regarding potential surgical and nonsurgical treatment options to determine what course of action is best for you. Keep your doctor informed of any changes or pain felt during the treatment process.