Hemorrhoids Evaluation & Treatment
Symptomatic hemorrhoids account for one of the most common reasons for an outpatient visit to a colorectal surgeon. Hemorrhoids are part of your body’s natural mechanism for maintaining fecal continence. Symptomatic hemorrhoids are frequently associated with constipation, diarrhea, straining with bowel movements, or pregnancy. Even without one of these predisposing conditions, patients can suffer from symptomatic hemorrhoids.
Symptoms of Hemorrhoids
Symptoms can include blood with bowel movements, anorectal pain, anorectal itching, leakage of stool or mucus, or even feeling a mass in your anorectal area. If you think you have symptomatic hemorrhoids, you should be evaluated by a colorectal surgeon to provide symptom based evaluation and treatment. It is also very important to be evaluated for a colonoscopy, especially if your hemorrhoid symptoms include bloody bowel movements.
Any patient suffering from symptomatic hemorrhoids should begin taking a daily fiber supplement, increase their intake of water, and avoid any unnecessary time or straining when having bowel movements. If these lifestyle changes do not relieve your symptoms, a colorectal surgeon can prescribe a wide variety of ointments, creams, or suppositories for your symptomatic hemorrhoids.
Treatment for Hemorrhoids
If your symptoms persist despite lifestyle changes and medical management, there is a wide range of office based procedures and surgical management that can be provided by your colorectal surgeon. If the patient is suffering from a thrombosed or clotted external hemorrhoid, your colorectal surgeon can remove the affected hemorrhoid in an office based setting under local anesthesia. This short, straightforward, and definitive procedure can greatly reduce the amount of pain the patient is experiencing.
If a patient is suffering from symptomatic internal hemorrhoids, office based treatments including painless injection sclerotherapy and painless hemorrhoidal banding can be performed by your colorectal surgeon. These treatments are completed in a matter of seconds and can provide a great amount of symptomatic relief, especially if symptoms consist of bloody bowel movements, hemorrhoidal protrusion or anorectal pain/irritation.
If office based therapy is unable to relieve your symptoms, surgical hemorrhoidectomy or complete removal of the affected hemorrhoids can be performed in an outpatient setting. This is the most definitive treatment for symptomatic hemorrhoids.
Overall, the primary goal in the treatment of hemorrhoids is a patient centered approach that focuses on symptomatic relief and an improved quality of life.