Its Crucial To Rule Out Other Problems Besides Hemorrhoids
Most people who have hemorrhoids discover them by either feeling the lump of an external hemorrhoid when they wipe after a bowel movement noticing drops of blood in the toilet bowl or on toilet paper or
feeling a prolapsing hemorrhoid after bowel movements.
With a history of symptoms, physicians like those of us at Alabama Colon & Rectal Institute, can make an accurate diagnosis on the basis of an examination of the anus and anal area. We want to identify the hemorrhoids, but its also very important that we rule out other causes of hemorrhoid-like symptoms, such as: anal fissures, fistulae, bowel disorders like ulcerative colitis, blood coagulation disorders, perianal skin diseases, infections, and tumors.
We want to stress that you should not assume that rectal bleeding is due to hemorrhoids, especially if you are over 40 years of age. Rectal bleeding can occur with other diseases, including colorectal cancer and anal cancer. If you have bleeding along with a noticeable change in bowel habits or if your stools change in color or consistency, consult your doctor. These types of stools can signal more extensive bleeding elsewhere in your digestive tract. Seek emergency care if you experience large amounts of rectal bleeding, lightheadedness, dizziness or faintness.
What we can do about hemorrhoids & what to expect at your appointment
Prevention & treatment for hemorrhoids
How A Doctor Can Help
Doctors can recommend medical treatments and procedures that can reduce or get rid of hemorrhoids. Some of these procedures can be done right in a doctors office and involve very little discomfort.
- Medicated creams/ointments. If an OTC hemorrhoid cream isnt enough, doctors can prescribe stronger creams and ointments.
- Minimally-invasive procedures. There are some minimally-invasive procedures that a doctor can do in their office or in an ambulatory surgery center that typically doesnt require anesthesia or long recovery times. Some of these procedures include rubber band ligation, sclerotherapy injections, and laser/infrared coagulation treatments.
- Thrombectomy. For severe cases that develop blood clots and cause a lot of pain, your doctor can perform an external hemorrhoid thrombectomy to remove the hemorrhoid. Thrombectomies are most effective when performed no more than 72 hours after severe symptoms emerge.
- Surgery. There are several surgical options available when other treatments and procedures havent worked or if you have very large hemorrhoids. If youve struggled to find relief, talk to your doctor to learn if surgery is right for you.
What Is Stapled Hemrroidectomy
The following are pictures of the stapled hemorrhoidectomy procedure.
- Picture of Hollow Tube Inserted into the Anal Canal and Pushing up the Hemorrhoids
- Picture of Internal Hemorrhoids in Anal Canal
- Picture of Suturing the Anal Canal through the Hollow Tube
- Picture of Bringing Expanded Hemorrhoidal Supporting Tissue into the Hollow Tube by pulling On Suture
- Picture of Hemorrhoids Pulled Back Above Anal Canal after Stapling and Removal of Hemorrhoidal Supporting Tissue
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Treatment Of Ruptured Hemorrhoids
Ruptured hemorrhoid with excessive per rectal bleeding usually happens from the external hemorrhoid. The primary treatment option is to have the hemorrhoid removed, known as hemorrhoidectomy. It is considered as the most effective approach for this issue with rapid recovery and quickly return to daily activities. Depending on the severity, surgery can be arranged as a Day Surgery procedure or outpatient procedure without hospitalization.
How Do You Treat External Hemorrhoids Diagnosis
External hemorrhoids appear as bumps and/or dark areas surrounding the anus. If the lump is tender, it suggests that the hemorrhoid is thrombosed. Any lump needs to be carefully followed, however, and should not be assumed to be a hemorrhoid since there are rare cancers of the anal area that may masquerade as hemorrhoids.
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What Shrinks Hemorrhoids Fast
- Eat high-fiber foods. Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Use topical treatments. Apply an over-the-counter hemorrhoid cream or suppository containing hydrocortisone, or use pads containing witch hazel or a numbing agent.
- Soak regularly in a warm bath or sitz bath.
- Take oral pain relievers.
How Long Do External Hemorrhoids Last
External hemorrhoids are located beneath the skin around the anal area. There is a possibility of blood clot, which could lead to thrombus causing extreme pain. External hemorrhoids can be gotten rid of, especially if proper care is given before the condition gets worst.The pain and swelling usually subside in just a few weeks provided proper medical care is given. For the hemorrhoids to completely go away, you should increase your intake of fluids and dietary fiber. You should also address constipation.For pain relief, an anti-inflammatory medication is needed. Mild external hemorrhoids can heal on its own but supportive care and management should be given. An advanced stage hemorrhoid that is left untreated could last your whole life.
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Prevention Tips & How To Find Relief
There are many different treatment options for patients looking for at-home solutions. Smaller hemorrhoids can be successfully treated at home through a combination of dietary changes and OTC medicines.
- Get more fiber in your diet. Eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help ease digestion. If you have trouble changing your diet, talk to your doctor and ask if a fiber supplement may work for you. Drinking more water can also help.
- Use over-the-counter pain relievers and hemorrhoid creams. Oral pain relievers containing acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help reduce discomfort. Topical creams can also relieve pain and itching.
- Soak in a sitz bath. A sitz bath involves sitting in a warm, shallow bath for 10 to 15 minutes to promote blood flow and keep the perianal area clean. Some manufacturers make sitz bath apparatuses that can be attached directly to a toilet seat, but you can also use a regular bathtub.
- Sit on a donut cushion. Donut-shaped cushions can help reduce the pressure on your tailbone when sitting. Cushions like these can help alleviate anal pain and discomfort, especially for patients who spend most of their day sitting at work.
- Limit your time on the toilet. Sitting on the toilet for too long can increase pressure in the veins in your anus and rectum, which can lead to hemorrhoids. Dont stay on the toilet for longer than you need toit may help to keep your phone out of the bathroom and remove any magazines or books that you keep nearby.
What Can You Put On Hemorrhoids To Shrink Them
You can use topical medications for hemorrhoids, although these products mainly provide relief from pain and other symptoms rather than shrinking hemorrhoids. A wide range of these products are available, including ointments, pads, and creams. Oral pain relievers might also offer temporary relief. Soaking in a sitz bath or warm water can help ease the pain as well.
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Temporary Vs Permanent Options
There are a variety of at-home hemorrhoid remedies to choose from. However, while these will mask your symptoms for a short time, they provide only temporary relief. By contrast, hemorrhoid treatment performed by a qualified physician, such as the CRH ORegan System, can relieve your hemorrhoids permanently. If you want to get rid of your hemorrhoids, not simply mask the symptoms, consider a more permanent option.
How Do You Know If You Have Hemorrhoids
The most common symptoms of hemorrhoids are:
- Anal pain/painful bowel movements
- Rectal bleeding
- Swelling around the anus
However, these symptoms could also be a sign of something more serious, like anal cancer or polyps. Hemorrhoids also have many symptoms in common with anal fissures, which occur when the skin around the anus is torn. Anal fissures tend to be much more painful than hemorrhoids, however.
Even if youre fairly certain youre dealing with hemorrhoids, its still a good idea to go see a doctor to rule out any serious conditions, especially if youre over the age of 50.
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When To Seek Medical Care For Hemorrhoids
When to call the doctor
- Bleeding from the rectum or anus is never normal and although hemorrhoids are the most common reason to have blood in the stool, it should be discussed with your primary health-care professional. Other causes ofrectal bleeding exist and can be serious. Inflammatory bowel disease and cancers of the colon can present with rectal bleeding. Blood in the stool should never be ignored.
- Medical care should be sought urgently if a person is taking anticoagulation medications such as warfarin , dabigatran , rivaroxiban , apixaban , clopidogrel , prasugrel or enoxaparin .
- Individuals who have associated symptoms such as lightheadedness and weakness may have significant blood loss and may require more urgent care.
- Hemorrhoids do not cause abdominal pain should this pain be present with bleeding, medical care should be sought immediately.
- Prolapsed hemorrhoids that cannot be pushed back through the anus require medical care.
- Thrombosed external hemorrhoids may cause significant pain and medical care may be necessary to remove the clot.
How Do Healthcare Providers Treat Hemorrhoids
You should see your healthcare provider if symptoms get worse or interfere with your daily life or sleep. Also seek help if signs dont improve after a week of at-home treatments. Your provider may treat hemorrhoids with:
- Rubber band ligation: A small rubber band placed around the base of a hemorrhoid cuts off blood supply to the vein.
- Electrocoagulation: An electric current stops blood flow to a hemorrhoid.
- Infrared coagulation: A small probe inserted into the rectum transmits heat to get rid of the hemorrhoid.
- Sclerotherapy: A chemical injected into the swollen vein destroys hemorrhoid tissue.
Surgical treatments include:
- Hemorrhoidectomy: Surgery removes large external hemorrhoids or prolapsed internal ones.
- Hemorrhoid stapling: A stapling instrument removes an internal hemorrhoid. Or it pulls a prolapsed internal hemorrhoid back inside the anus and holds it there.
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What Should I Eat With Hemorrhoids
Eating whole grains and other foods that are high in fiber can help ease symptoms of hemorrhoids, such as discomfort and swelling. These foods can also help prevent hemorrhoids from forming by making the stool bulky and softening it. This helps you avoid straining, which can lead to hemorrhoids. When you increase your fiber intake, you should do so gradually to lower your risk of having gas.
What To Expect After The Surgical Procedure
Patients usually complains of pain, especially when pooping. In such scenario, the doctor will usually prescribe over the counter pain relievers. The doctor also prescribes stool softener, especially during the first week post-surgery.With surgical approach to treating hemorrhoids, there is always a possibility of bleeding, infection, and adverse reaction to anesthesia. The muscles usually swell, which makes it hard for you to pee after the procedure. There is also a tendency that your anal sphincter will be damaged during the surgical procedure.One of the clinical manifestations of anal sphincter damage is fecal incontinence. You should immediately call your doctor if you have profuse anal bleeding, has a fever, or canât pee or poop. These are not normal and could suggest an underlying health issue. If you notice any unusual changes, you should immediately consult your doctor.
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When Can A Hemorrhoid Pop
If a hemorrhoid has become thrombosed, meaning its bulging and painful, it will burst on its own and secrete blood. While similar to a pimple or boil which will build up in pressure until it pops a thrombosed hemorrhoid will simply begin to bleed if it becomes too full with blood and/or puss. Of course, the hemorrhoid would have caused severe pain in the days leading up to bursting. Most people would have already sought medical attention due to the intense symptoms of thrombosis, thus taking care of the problem before the hemorrhoid bursts. This is perhaps why it is rare to hear about a hemorrhoid popping on its own.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of An External Or Thrombosed Hemorrhoid
Thrombosed external hemorrhoids are a painful condition. These occurs when a blood clot develops in a hemorrhoidal blood vessel causing swelling and inflammation.
- When a blood clot occurs in a hemorrhoid, the hemorrhoid will become even more swollen. This swelling leads to increased pain.
- The pain is usually worse with bowel movements and may increase with sitting.
A thrombosed external hemorrhoid may resolve on its own however, this condition often needs medical care. Bleeding with a bowel movement is never normal and should prompt a visit to a health-care professional. While hemorrhoids are the most common cause of bleeding with a bowel movement, there may be other reasons for bleeding including inflammatory bowel disease, infection, and tumors.
Hemorrhoids are not arteries or veins, but instead are normal blood vessels called sinusoids that are located in the walls that surround the rectum and anus. When the venous pressure within these blood vessels increases, the hemorrhoids swell and dilate, because it is more difficult for blood to empty from them. This leads to the most common symptoms of bleeding and swelling.
Common situations that increase pressure within the hemorrhoidal blood vessels and lead to abnormalities include the following.
- Straining to have a bowel movement. This may be due to constipation or diarrhea.
- Prolonged sitting, including on the toilet
- Lack of exercise
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Hemorrhoids Treatment: Rubber Band Ligation
The principle of rubber band ligation is to encircle the base of the hemorrhoidal clump with a tight rubber band. The tissue cut off by the rubber band dies, and is replaced by an ulcer that heals with scarring.
A similar procedure was described in 460 BC by the Greek physician Hippocrates:
And hemorrhoids you may treat by transfixing them with a needle and tying them with very thick and woolen thread, for application, and do not foment until they drop off, and always leave one behind and when the patient recovers, let him be put on a course of Hellebore.
Rubber band ligation can be used with first-, second-, and third-degree hemorrhoids, and may be more effective than sclerotherapy. Symptoms frequently recur several years later, but usually can be treated with further ligation.
The most common complication of ligation is pain. However, bleeding one or two weeks after ligation or bacterial infection in the tissues surrounding the hemorrhoids may occur.
Temporary Hemorrhoid Treatment Options
Relief Using Hemorrhoid Creams
Hemorrhoid creams, such as those made by Tucks and Preparation H, are an appealing medicine to many people suffering from hemorrhoids as they can be purchased from the drugstore without a prescription and used in the privacy of the home. These creams typically contain a medicinal ingredient such as hydrocortisone along with a soothing agent to provide quick relief from hemorrhoid symptoms like itching and burning.
Whichever hemorrhoid cream you choose, it will have to be applied several times per day, especially in the morning and at night.
For External use:
Squeeze a small amount of the cream onto your finger and apply to the outside of the anus. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with warm soap and water before and after application or use a disposable glove or finger cot.
For Internal use:
If you do not see hemorrhoid relief from external application, some creams are able to be applied inside the anus. It is best to have a bowel movement before attempting to apply hemorrhoid cream this way.
Then, after thoroughly washing your hands, attach the rounded applicator tip to the cream tube. Gently squeeze the tube in order to in order to test the applicator to see how much ointment comes out. You want to aim for an amount that is similar to the length of the tip of your index finger.
What You Should Know About Hemorrhoid Creams Like Preparation H
Home Remedies for Hemorrhoids
Some examples of hemorrhoid home remedies include:
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When To See A Doctor About Hemorrhoids
You should see a doctor if you notice bleeding during a bowel movement, or if you produce stool thats red or black. If you know you have a hemorrhoid, you should also see a doctor if the discomfort doesnt go away after a week with the help of at-home remedies.
Many patients find it to be difficult or embarrassing to talk to their doctor about gastrointestinal issuesbut you should know that your doctor is there to help you find solutions to your medical concerns, and you are certainly not the first patient theyve seen with this problem! Talking openly with your doctor is the best way for you to find long-lasting relief.
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When should you seek professional help?
You should see your health care provider if you have severe pain, if home remedies have not helped, if you experience rectal bleeding or if you have any questions or concerns. Most people can tolerate hemorrhoids and learn how to prevent flare-ups. However, definitive treatment requires a procedure to have them removed.
Is surgery the most permanent option, and how successful is it?
Once you develop hemorrhoids, they don’t usually go away completely unless you undergo a procedure to have them removed. There are several options for removal. One option is an injection, usually given by a gastroenterologist. The solution in the injection creates a scar and closes off the hemorrhoid. The second option is called banding. Hemorrhoids that are hanging out of the rectum are closed off by using a tiny rubber band. It takes about one week for the hemorrhoid to shrink, and it will eventually fall off. A third option for removal is using either an electric probe, a laser beam or an infrared light to cause a tiny burn that will painlessly seal the end of the hemorrhoid, causing it to close off and shrink. The last option is a surgery called hemorrhoidectomy. This is often reserved for large internal hemorrhoids or extremely uncomfortable external hemorrhoids.
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