What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are swollen, inflamed blood vessels in the lower rectum or anus caused by increased pressure or straining during bowel movements, or from increased pressure on these veins during pregnancy, lifting heavy weights, severe coughing, etc.
What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids can cause pain, itching, bleeding and swelling, and when more severe, they can extend through the anus and even clot off or become gangrenous. Hemorrhoids may be located inside the rectum (internal hemorrhoids), or they may develop under the skin around the anus (external hemorrhoids).
What are the treatment options for hemorrhoids?
If you have occasional symptoms from hemorrhoids such as bleeding, itching, pain, etc.,you may try to manage them by increasing the fiber in your diet and use of fiber supplements, laxatives, warm Sitz baths and treatments such as creams and ointments.
If the hemorrhoids are large or cause frequent problems, then they need to be treated more aggressively. Dr. Kethu performs hemorrhoidal banding (band ligation) to get rid of hemorrhoids. Another option is using cautery such as infrared coagulation which may be useful in some cases though is less effective than band ligation. Surgery may also be utilized in severe cases or in hemorrhoids that have clotted.
How is hemorrhoid band ligation done and how effective is it?
Your doctor will place a tiny rubber band around the internal hemorrhoid to cut off its blood supply. The hemorrhoid then shrinks and flattens off within 3-5 days, usually without you noticing. Once the hemorrhoid is gone, your symptoms should resolve. You may require up to three sessions at two-week intervals as all people have 3 hemorrhoidal veins. Only one hemorrhoid is banded during each session to minimize complications and discomfort.Hemorrhoid banding/ligation is a simple, painless and highly effective procedure (85-90%) that can be performed in few minutes.