HonadImportant Things To Know
Hemorrhoids are commonly called “varicose veins” of the anal canal. They consist of dilated blood vessels covered by the lining of the anal canal. When these veins are swelled, they eventually protrude through the anus (prolapse).
External skin marks of the anus often represent the remnant of skin that has been stretched as a consequence of internal hemorrhoidal prolapse at the edge of the anus or a previous perianal thrombosis. Perianal thrombosis (clot), which is too painful a process that looks like a bump on the edge of the anus can often be confused with a prolapsed internal hemorrhoid veins.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hemorrhoids?
- Bleeding is the most common symptom of hemorrhoids. The patient detects it by the presence of blood on the toilet paper. Often they can leak blood into the toilet.
- Protrusions: hemorrhoidal prolapse may occur during bowel movements or in other times. Acute prolapse is less common, painful and usually requires surgery.
- Discomfort and pain: the discomfort is very common in patients with hemorrhoids. Severe pain often occurs in case of complications such as peri anal thrombosis, acute prolapse or the presence of an anal fissure.
- Itching or pruritus: this symptom of hemorrhoids is due to mucus.
What Causes Hemorrhoids?
Internal hemorrhoidal veins develop as a result of the weakness of the supporting connective tissue in the anal canal. As a result, the rectal lining protrudes to the outside. Factors that contribute to the development of hemorrhoids are:
- Chronic constipation or diarrhea
- Altered intestinal transit
- Long periods on the toilet
How Are Hemorrhoids Treated?
It is very common for patients with hemorrhoids to treat themselves. This should not be done. Call your doctor who will evaluate the disease and indicate the appropriate treatment. You may need a consultation with the colorectal surgeon who will adapt the treatment to the patient.
If mild symptoms such as constipation and bloating or pain are present, they are usually relieved with a diet high in fiber and fluids. Ointments tend to bring relief of symptoms, but often give little result. In the case of thrombosis, it may be necessary to do an excision of the small clots with local anesthesia. Most of the symptoms caused by hemorrhoids are treated on an outpatient in the doctor´s office.
Injection of a chemical derivative of phenol (in oil) usually stops bleeding if the hemorrhoids are small.
Rubber band ligation: this treatment is done in large piles and requires no local or general anesthesia. Rubber bands obstructing the blood supply and allow the hemorrhoidal veins to be separated from the intestinal wall. This treatment may be combined with the injections.
Hemorrhoidectomy: surgical excision is often necessary to treat large or complicated hemorrhoids. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and usually takes place at the hospital. Other methods include infrared coagulation, Doppler-ultrasound and laser removal, but they showed no greater effects than the methods listed above. Cryotherapy is not recommended.
Do Hemorrhoids Lead To Cancer?
There is no evidence linking hemorrhoids to cancer. However, the symptoms of hemorrhoids are similar to those presented in bowel cancer.
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