Hemorrhoids are inflammations of the connective tissue, arteries and veins that They can develop around the anus or inside the rectum. The symptoms of hemorrhoids vary from benign, like itching, to severe, such as bleeding or debilitating pain. Normally, your doctor can treat your hemorrhoid symptoms without surgery. Rarely, surgical intervention may be necessary. No matter how serious your symptoms are, always seek the treatment of a specialist in colon and rectum, formerly known as a proctologist. In general, the treatment may include only conservative remedies such as laxatives and topical steroids such as betamethasone, a strong preparation of steroids, or other types of topical steroids. In the most severe forms, hemorrhoids may require surgical treatment.
Hemorrhoids can be external or internal, large or small. External hemorrhoids are found inside or outside the anal canal. Internal hemorrhoids are high in the anal canal, are more prone to bleeding, and can produce a mild anal discharge that causes itching. When it comes to hemorrhoids, size does not always matter. Small hemorrhoids can cause big problems and large hemorrhoids may not cause any problems at all. What matters is the severity of your symptoms.
Sometimes, hemorrhoids can prolapse, or protrude from the anal canal. The prolapse of hemorrhoids can be painful, but sometimes it does not require any other treatment. When the hemorrhoids enlarge and coagulate, a thrombotic hemorrhoid forms. Thrombotic hemorrhoids can be intensely painful and bleed as the swollen vein breaks through the skin. Non-thrombotic external hemorrhoids can also cause bleeding, pain, or anal itching.
Most treatments for hemorrhoids begin with increased stool volume through the use of synthetic or natural fiber agents. Your doctor may advise you to eat more foods rich in fiber, such as vegetables, fruits, grains and legumes. Synthetic fiber agents are sold in the over-the-counter section of the pharmacy or market. These simple interventions help eliminate pain from hard stools that irritate the anal area.
Topical steroids such as betamethasone, when applied as directed by your doctor, calm the anal area by decreasing inflammation. These strong ointments can provide quick relief, they should not be used for a long period of time because prolonged use can weaken or irritate the skin of the anus.
When minimal intervention measures fail, your doctor may try more aggressive treatments such as surgical hemorrhoidectomy or removal of hemorrhoids; the bands, a procedure in which doctors stop the flow of hemorrhoidal blood with rubber bands; sclerotherapy or injection therapy, which involves injecting the areas around the hemorrhoids with a diluted phenol chemical solution; infrared coagulation, or coagulation therapy, in which your doctor burns the hemorrhoid with infrared light to cut off the blood supply; or the procedure for prolapse and hemorrhoids, the PPH, in which your doctor uses a stapling device to remove and partially replace the hemorrhoidal tissue.
It is important to confirm that your symptoms are not caused by something more serious, such as anal cancer. Benign problems such as an anal fissure can cause the same symptoms of hemorrhoids, but the treatment is very different. Do not be afraid to seek medical attention. A colon and rectum specialist can diagnose your problem quickly, with care and skill.
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