Haemorrhoids, commonly known as piles, areenlarged blood vessels that have swollenfound within the rectum and anus. Frequently, it has been observed that haemorrhoids don't cause any specific symptoms and people suffering from haemorrhoids often do not realize havingit.However, when the problem becomes severe, some symptoms may appear such as bleeding after passing stool, having an itchy bottom, lump like structures protruding out from the anus, which has to be physically pushed back after passing the stool, a mucus discharge after every passing of the stool, soreness, redness and a typical swelling around the anus. Haemorrhoids aren’t generally painful until their blood supply slows down or is interfered.
There are two types of Haemorrhoids which are:
- Internal Hemorrhoids are positioned inside the rectum and aren’t discomforting. However, there are chances that when passing stool, it might damage the surface of the Haemorrhoid and can cause bleeding.
- External Haemorrhoids are located under the skin around the anus. These can cause itchiness or bleed when irritated.There is a possibility that blood clot might occur that can cause severe pain and swelling.
Symptoms of Haemorrhoids
The symptoms of haemorrhoids often vary depending up on its location. The main symptoms that are recognizable are:
- Discomfort or pain while sitting specially
- Feeling pain while passing stool
- Irritation or itching around the anus
- Discharge of bright red colored blood in the stool
- Tender or painful lumps around the anus
Although bleeding during the passing of stool iscommon in haemorrhoids, rectal bleeding can indicate a more serious condition which could be bowel or anal cancer. You must see a doctor if:
- The Haemorrhoid is bleeding frequently and excessively
- There is no response to treatment
- There is a change in the bowel habits
- The stools are black or maroon colored
- There is a blood clot formation
- There is a mixture of blood and stool
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Diagnosis of Haemorrhoids
External Haemorrhoids can be inspected visually by your physician. However, some tests and procedures could be conducted to diagnose internal Haemorrhoids,the tests may include the following:
- A rectal examination in which the doctor will put a lubricated gloved finger into the rectum to feel for any unusual growths
- Visual inspection inside the anal and rectum using devices such as an anoscope, proctoscope or sigmoidscope
- For an extensive examination of the entire bowel (colon), a colonoscopy may be performed. Colonoscopy will help the doctor determine if there are any digestion related diseases such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease or if you have a colorectal canc
Treatment of Haemorrhoids
In most cases, Haemorrhoids can be self-treated. However severe or repetitive cases may require medication or a surgical procedure. Note that haemorrhoids can reinstate after treatment, hence they can only be controlled and not permanently cured.
Self or home treatment is best utilized to relieve mild pain and swelling associated with Haemorrhoids. Self-treatments include:
- Use of non-prescription Haemorrhoid ointments, creams, suppositories, or pads containing a mild corticosteroid, e.g. hydrocortisone, or witch hazel extract
- Soaking the anal area in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes two or three times a day
- Using stool softeners, which help stools to be passed more easily
- Ensuring that the anal area is kept clean by bathing or showering daily – soap is not necessary, and the affected area can be dried with a hair dryer
- Using moist towelettes or wet toilet paper (that do not contain perfume or alcohol) rather than dry toilet paper, to help keep the anal area clean after passing a stool
- Applying ice packs or cold compresses on the affected area can relieve swelling
- Taking oral pain medication, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, can help to relieve discomfort
Non-surgical and surgical procedures
As far as external haemorrhoid are concerned in which a clot has formed, a haemorrhoid thrombectocmycan be performed to get an instant relief. It involves a simple incision and then the clot is removed.
If there is a continuous bleeding and the haemorrhoids are painful, certain non-surgical procedures can be initiated to destroy the haemorrhoid completely.
- Rubber bandage ligation, which involves the application of an elastic bandage to cut off the clot causing it to burn and die
- Injection (sclerotherapy), which involves injecting a medicine into the haemorrhoid to make it harder and shrink
- Electrotherapy (electrocoagulation), which is a heat treatment that causes the haemorrhoid to amalgamate and wither
Now if the above mentioned non-surgical procedures are not successful or if the haemorrhoids have enlarged, then surgery to remove the haemorrhoids may be performed:
Before the surgery
- Be open and honest with the doctor and tell him/her about all the medications or supplements that the patient has taken or takes as there are chances that the these medications or supplements can collide with the anesthesia and increase the chances of bleeding or any other side effects
- The doctor will also suggest what all medicines or supplements needs to be stopped before the surgery
- You will have to empty your stomach with enema or laxative before appearing for the surgery
- Follow the instructions on eating and drinking as laid down by the doctor.If some oral medicines are instructed by the doctor, take them in by just having a sip of water
- Cleanse yourself by taking a bath and shave off the area where surgery is to be performed
During the surgery
Surgery may be performed using any of the suitable procedures
- Haemorrhoidectomy involves the removal of a haemorrhoids performed under general anesthesia. The patient is taken to the recovery room after surgery and discharged after the vital signs stabilize.
- Haemorrhoid stapling involves the removal of an internal haemorrhoid with a special staple gun to seal the wound and prevent it from bleeding
After the surgery
- Anesthesia and pain medicine will make you drowsy. Ensure that you have an attendant with you
- The doctor will issue specific instructions about recovering from the surgery. These instructions will cover all vital points related to diet, taking care of the wound, follow-up care, and getting back to the normal lifestyle
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Cost of treatment for Haemorrhoids
The following factors determine the cost involved in treating Haemorrhoids:
- Hospital that patient chooses for his/her treatment
- Fees for the visiting the doctor
- Cost of medicines
- Cost of tests and diagnostic procedures
- Cost of surgery
- Cost of follow-up care