Often described as “varicose veins of the anus and rectum,” hemorrhoids are enlarged, bulging blood vessels in and around the anus and lower rectum. The rectum is the bottom section of your colon (large intestine). The tissues supporting the vessels stretch. As a result, the vessels expand, the walls thin and bleeding occurs. When the stretching and pressure continue, the weakened vessels protrude. The two types of hemorrhoids, external and internal, refer to their location.
External (outside) hemorrhoids form near the anus and are covered by sensitive skin. They are usually painless unless a blood clot (thrombosis) forms.
Thrombosed external hemorrhoids are blood clots that form in an outer hemorrhoid in the anal skin. If the clots are large, they can cause significant pain. A painful anal mass may appear suddenly and get worse during the first 48 hours. The pain generally lessens over the next few days. You may notice bleeding if the skin on top opens.
Internal (inside) hemorrhoids form within the anus beneath the lining. Painless bleeding and protrusion during bowel movements are the most common symptoms. However, an internal hemorrhoid can cause severe pain if it is completely prolapsed. This means it has slid out of the anal opening and cannot be pushed back inside.
HEMMORRHOIDS FACTS AND STATS
The exact cause of hemorrhoids is unknown. A lot of pressure is put on human rectal veins due to our upright posture, which can potentially cause bulging. Other contributing factors include:
It is important that symptoms are checked by a colon and rectal surgeon first before you try self-treatments. They will perform a thorough examination and recommend treatment. Mild symptoms can be relieved frequently without surgery. With nonsurgical treatment, pain and swelling usually decrease in two to seven days. The firm lump should recede within four to six weeks.
If pain from a thrombosed hemorrhoid is severe, your physician may decide to remove the hemorrhoid and/or clot with a small incision. These procedures can be done at your Dhysician’s office or at the hospital under local anesthesia.
Hemorrhoidectomy: This is the most complete surgical method for removing extra tissue that causes bleeding and protrusion. It is done under anesthesia using either sutures or staples. Depending on the case, hospitalization and a period of rest may be required.
Contrary to popular belief, laser methods do not offer any benefit compared to standard
operative techniques. Laser surgery is expensive and no less painful.
Hemorrhoidectomy is considered when: