Hemorrhoids are among the most common gastrointestinal issues. These are swollen internal or external veins inside or outside your rectum, respectively. Most hemorrhoids bleed after bowel movements and may present as anal itching, tender lumps, and pain around the anus.
Conservative treatments like the drinking of water and a high fiber diet generally help in the alleviation of hemorrhoid symptoms. They do this by promoting soft and regular bowel movements. Stool softeners will also reduce straining when passing stool and prevent the worsening of hemorrhoids.
Thankfully, there are now several hemorrhoids treatment options at a Utah-based clinic. Treatment is generally aimed at removing hemorrhoid or reducing its blood supply. The treatments are categorized into in-office procedures that need no anesthesia and surgical procedures under anesthesia.
Here are the in-office procedures that can be used to manage hemorrhoids.
This is also called banding. In the procedure, a doctor takes a rubber band measuring a few millimeters in width. This band, when placed over the base of an internal hemorrhoid, will cut off its blood supply. In so doing, the hemorrhoid shrinks and falls off within about a week.
The procedure is repeated several times after a month or two if you have multiple hemorrhoids. Rubber-band ligation nonetheless has the highest risk of hemorrhoid recurrence. It is also not recommended for patients taking blood thinners.
In this treatment, your doctor will give you an injection that introduces chemicals into your hemorrhoid tissues. These chemicals will cut off the hemorrhoid’s blood supply and shrink it. The injections might be repeated every few weeks until your hemorrhoid clears completely.
Some mild pain and pressure are normal during the injection, but sclerotherapy has very few risks. It is quite effective for the treatment of small internal hemorrhoids and can be safely used on those taking blood thinners since the skin is not cut.
This is, at times, called infrared photocoagulation. It involves the use of heat, extreme cold, or infrared light to retract and shrink hemorrhoids. The procedure is often done in combination with an anoscopy. This is an imaging procedure where a scope will be inserted a few inches into your rectum.
It allows doctors to see the hemorrhoid’s extent. Electrocoagulation works much like infrared photocoagulation but uses electric current to shrink hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoidal Artery Ligation
This is also called trans-anal hemorrhoidal dearterialization. In the procedure, a doctor will locate the blood vessels responsible for a hemorrhoid using a miniature Doppler sensor. He/she then uses an ultrasound that ligates these blood vessels.
Hemorrhoidal artery ligation is more effective compared to banding and will reduce hemorrhoids almost immediately and make them invisible within a few weeks. It is, however, one of the most expensive in-office procedures for treating hemorrhoids.
Without treatment, symptomatic hemorrhoids will lead to several complications. External hemorrhoids often develop painful clots while internal ones prolapse meaning they drop through your rectum then protrude from the anus.
The above in-office treatments are thankfully quick and will not need long healing times like surgical procedures under anesthesia.