The swollen veins in the rectum and anus area of your body are known as hemorrhoids. It is not a fatal or life-threatening condition. Commonly also called piles, and you cannot have a good loo-time.
Hemorrhoids result due to improper lifestyle activities such as poor eating choices, sedentary work life, and many more. Three out of four adults develop hemorrhoids.
External hemorrhoids can be diagnosed with the help of physical examination using the naked eyes themselves. The small bumps around the anus skin are a sign of having external hemorrhoids.
To diagnose internal hemorrhoids, the GP or consultant relies on the (prolapsed hemorrhoids & thrombosed hemorrhoids) visual inspection of the bleeding tissues.
With the help of an MRI or CT scan examination, the GP or consultant can get a wider picture of the bleeding tissues.
- Your physician might insert a gloved and lubricated finger to feel any bumps or extra growths in your rectum.
- Using a colonoscopy, anoscope, proctoscope, or sigmoidoscope, the physician will have a thorough visual inspection of the digestive tract, anus, rectum, and the lower portions of the colon.
The need of using colonoscopy or an anoscope is to find if you have any other additional digestive tract problems or traces of risk factors of colorectal cancer.
The level of treatment is based on the degree of hemorrhoid. Cure to the hemorrhoids might vary from choosing one from below or a combination of below options.
- Home remedies using food, bathe topical applications.
- Over the counter medications
- Minimally Invasive procedures
- Surgical treatments
A mild discomforting hemorrhoid, say like external hemorrhoid which is at a low-risk stage can be cured by over-the-counter medicines. Your doctor will prescribe you drugs, pills, ointments, or topical creams that contain witch hazel, or hydrocortisone, and lidocaine. These ingredients will relieve your pain and itching. Please avoid using them if your pain persists for more than a week.
Minimally Invasive Procedure
Internal hemorrhoids, also accompanied by blood clots (thrombosis), need mini surgery without invasive methods. The physician will remove the clot using various techniques to relieve your pain with help of local anesthesia.
The below methods can be done in the outpatient room itself. These methods are effective only when removed within 72 hours of the clot formation.
- Rubber band ligation:
Your physician ties rubber bands at two ends of the hemorrhoids (the swollen veins) and arrests the circulation to it. This way, it will wither and fall in a week or so (7-10 days depending upon the degree of hemorrhoid).
Your hemorrhoid tissue is injected with a chemical solution that allows the vein to shrink on its own. This method is less painful.
The hemorrhoids shrink when exposed to infrared light or heat. The tissues first harden and then they start to shrink (coagulation process occurs inside the tissue and forces the hemorrhoids to wither). A little discomfort might occur because of this method, and side effects may occur because of the use of infrared
Non-invasive procedures shrink the hemorrhoids inside without the need for incision on the patient. They can be effective when the condition is at a mild stage. In case of chronic or high intense hemorrhoid conditions, surgeries can provide the required relief.
Surgical Procedure - Hemorrhoid treatment
If the other procedures haven't been able to offer a solution or you have a high degree of large hemorrhoids, your doctor might recommend one of the following:
Removing your hemorrhoid through surgical procedures is called hemorrhoidectomy. They are either open hemorrhoidectomy or closed hemorrhoidectomy depending upon the incision and the surgery type performed by the hemorrhoid surgeon.
The surgery is performed with the help of local anesthesia, spinal anesthesia, and mild sedation also. Surgery is performed to remove the excess bleeding tissues and suture them with absorbable suture.
Hemorrhoidectomy is highly suitable to prevent recurring hemorrhoids and internally bleeding hemorrhoids. Although the surgery complications include pain,/urinary tract infection, postoperative discomfort, and pain, it yields the best long-term results.
New methods and a combination of open and closed techniques are used to reduce pain and infections after surgery.
- Closed Hemorrhoidectomy:
This surgical excision is made to remove bundles of hemorrhoids. Laser, scalpel, or even electrocution is used for the excision process. Postoperative care includes sitz baths, mild analgesics, and avoidance of constipation
- Open Hemorrhoidectomy:
The excision procedure is the same as that of closed Hemorrhoidectomy but the incision is left open if the wound closure is difficult and the rate of infection is high.
For lesser pain and discomfort stapling technique is used. Patients with grade III and IV are opted for Hemorrhoidectomy stapling. In this procedure, the circumferential ring of the hemorrhoid tissue is stapled with a device, thereby restricting the blood supply to the tissues.
This also helps in putting the hemorrhoid tissue back into its place in the anal column. Usually, internal prolapsed hemorrhoids are treated with hemorrhoidectomy stapling methods.
The pain, discomfort, and postoperative infections are minimal to zero. However, the recurrence rate is high in this method, accompanied by rectal prolapse and anal protrudes.
Transanal haemorrhoidal dearterialisation also known as Hemorrhoidal Ligation, Haemorrhoidal Artery Ligation, or Doppler-guided Ligation. This technique is prevalently used if the hemorrhoid is diagnosed with grade 2, 3, or 4.
As the name says, dearterialisation, the blood supply to the arteries is cut off. The arteries are located with a special device called a proctoscope, which uses the Doppler ultrasound method to detect the arteries. This improves the precision of the artery that has to be cut off and using the same device the sutures are performed above the dentate line. (an area without sensory nerves).
The patient will not be able to feel the stitches or the sutures. It is a very advanced technique that has zero postoperative complications. There is no recurrence rate with THD procedures.
Also, the recovery rate is 24-48 hours. Patients can presume to their normal routines within less than 2 days including exercising and lifting heavy objects.
Hemorrhoids can be relieved with easy home remedies that require fewer medications.
- Eat high-fiber foods
- Use topical treatments.
- Soak regularly in a warm bath or sitz bath
- Take oral pain relievers
In case if the pain continues to persist after the remedies and steps taken by you at home, seek medical help.
How do I prevent Hemorrhoids?
An optimal metabolism rate is the best way to prevent hemorrhoids from occurring again and again, This can be achieved with the help of a good diet, proper exercise, and optimal metabolism rate.
- Make sure to include an everyday high fiber content in your meals. Avoid the supplements and prefer eating them from whole food.
- Don’t hold in your urine or the natural urges. Suppressing this can worsen your digestive systems also.
- Avoid sitting for a long time in the same place.
- Do at least 30-40 mins of physical activities every day to keep your bowel movement healthy
- During your loo-time, don't hold your breath, or strain too much of yourself to pass the stool. It will create problems in the anus and rectum veins,
- Take steam, warm showers occasionally in a week. This helps to maintain a good metabolism rate.