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Hemorrhoids » What is a Hemorrhoid?

What is a Hemorrhoid?

Colorectal Surgeon in points to hemorrhoids on model rectum to explain the common condition to a patient. Memorial Advanced Surgery logo at top left.

Hemorrhoids – Don’t Be Ashamed to Talk to Your Doctor

Talking about hemorrhoids can be a sensitive topic for some, but they don’t have to be. Remember, hemorrhoids are actually very common, with over 3 million cases a year.

A hemorrhoid is a swollen vein or veins in your lower rectum and anus. Almost 75% of adults will experience hemorrhoids due to a variety of causes. Causes of hemorrhoids can include straining during bowel movements, pregnancy, obesity, heavy lifting, a low fiber diet, or sometimes the cause is simply unknown.

There are internal, external, and thrombosed hemorrhoids:

  • Internal hemorrhoids – located inside the rectum, causing some patients to not see nor feel them. Symptoms include painless bleeding or tissue pushing out of the anus (prolapse) that can cause pain or discomfort
  • External hemorrhoids – located under the skin surrounding your anal opening. Symptoms include pain, swelling, itching, and bleeding.
  • Thrombosed hemorrhoids – occur when a blood clot forms in an external hemorrhoid causing the hemorrhoid to turn purple or blue. Symptoms include itching, bleeding, and severe pain.

When to Talk to A Doctor

Hemorrhoids are very rarely dangerous and sometimes go away on their own. However, blood in your stool could be a symptom of a more serious condition, so seeing a colorectal specialist to rule out more severe conditions is always good idea. That said, hemorrhoids are very common, making them easy for a doctor to diagnose and treat.

If a hemorrhoid does not go away on its own or if symptoms are becoming more bothersome, you can consult a colorectal surgeon  like Dr. Crean. Treatments include in-office painless injections or hemorrhoidal banding. If your symptoms persist, a colorectal surgeon can perform a hemorrhoidectomy to remove all of the tissue that is affected by hemorrhoids.

The Bottom Line

Hemorrhoids are extremely common, and you should not be ashamed to talk to a doctor about them. These swollen veins can cause a lot of pain but can be relieved by a simple visit to your doctor’s office. You can take action to prevent hemorrhoids by eating a well-balanced diet with a sufficient amount of fiber and exercising regularly.

If you would like to talk to a doctor about the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for hemorrhoids, book an appointment with us today. Memorial Advanced Surgery has experienced surgeons who can treat your conditions to allow you to live a healthier, more comfortable life.

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Memorial Advanced Surgery
3627 University Blvd S. Suite 700,
Jacksonville, FL 32216
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