Hemorrhoids, also called piles, are inflamed and swollen veins in the anus and lower rectum. Hemorrhoids can be caused by various factors. The most common reasons for developing hemorrhoids are straining during a bowel movement or from the increased pressure on the veins in the anus and lower rectum during pregnancy. Internal hemorrhoids are located inside the rectum. External hemorrhoids develop under the skin around the anus. Signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids can included: painless rectal bleeding with a bowel movement (you may notice small amounts of bright red blood on the toilet paper or in the toilet bowl), pain or discomfort, swelling around the anus, itching or irritation, a lump near the anus (which may be painful or sensitive).
You may be able to help relieve the mild pain, swelling and inflammation associated with hemorrhoids with over-the-counter cream, home remedies and lifestyle changes. It is recommended not to use an over-the-counter cream or other product for more than a week unless directed by your physician.
In the case of persistent or painful hemorrhoids it is recommended that you contact your physician and schedule a consultation. Your physician at Utah Digestive will discuss with you previous hemorrhoid treatments that you have tried and failed. If you have tried home remedies, lifestyle changes, over-the-counter creams and prescription hemorrhoid treatments with no improvement your doctor may want to explore other options.
The preferred method of treatment of hemorrhoids by the gastroenterologist at Utah Digestive Health Institute is the CRH O’Regan non-surgical hemorrhoid banding. The reason for this is that it much less invasive and painful than other options such as surgery. Your doctor will want to examine the hemorrhoid to see if you are a candidate for this method of treatment. This procedure is usually easy, fast, and painless. With this treatment the physician uses a suction device to pull in the afflicted tissue and then places a small rubber band around the base of the hemorrhoid. Since the band is placed up around the base of the hemorrhoid it does not contact pain-sensitive nerve endings. The rubber band cuts off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid, causing it to shrink. The band will fall off within a few days. There is a less than 1% complication rate with the treatment.
If you have any further questions regarding the treatment of hemorrhoids, please contact Utah Digestive at (801) 475-5400.