Hemorrhoids are a common condition affecting both men and women. Hemorrhoids are made up of dilated varicose veins that connect the veins of the intestines to the veins and tissue of the skin around the rectal opening. When a person is constipated there is increased pressure on the intimal veins pushing more blood towards the anus. This causes enlargement of the veins and they usually do not go back to the original size. In pregnant women the pressure on intestinal veins comes from the enlarged uterus and the weight of the baby. Therefore hemorrhoids are common in expecting mothers.
The signs and symptoms of Hemorrhoids include painful bowel movements, a lump in anus or swelling of the tissue and protrusion of tissue outside of the anus. Bleeding may occur while having a bowel movement. The larger hemorrhoids also interfere with adequate hygiene and cleaning after a bowel movement. This may produce symptoms such as itching and feeling of wetness.
The pain is caused by breakdown of anal and rectal lining, inflammation and edema. The pressure on the veins balloon the veins and they burst producing bleeding. It can be very dramatic and it may fill the toilet bowl with bright red blood. One may also see blood on the toilet tissue paper. At times the veins may develop clots and these may become quite swollen inflamed and painful.
In any case all episodes of bleeding from rectum should be discussed with your doctor as the bleeding from rectum may also be from a colon or rectal polyp or cancer. You may require further evaluation for appropriate management. The doctor may examine you and recommend an endoscopy procedure such as colonoscopy to look inside the colon and rectum for identification of source of bleeding. For information about colonoscopy click here.
Treatment of Hemorrhoids includes self-care, such as eating better diet with fruits, vegetables and other forms of fiber, along with drinking adequate amount of water to avoid dehydration and constipation. If the problem persists despite these efforts, then your doctor may prescribe suppositories or creams to be applied locally in the rectum.
Surgery may be necessary in most advanced cases, as the hemorrhoids usually do not shrink back after they protrude outside of anus. The procedure usually recommended is done under local anesthetic and mild sedation such as Valium. It involves ligation and removal of the enlarged hemorrhoidal veins and tissue. The recovery is fast. There is usually pain and discomfort with bowel movement for next few weeks, but that may be controlled with application of cream and taking pain pills.
Most people are able to resume their usual and customary activity in 24 hrs, including driving, if they are not taking pain meds. Dr. Pandya usually performs the surgery at Natraj Surgery Center, as it is quite cost efficient as compared to having it done at the hospital. Click here to go to website for Natraj Surgery Center.
If you suspect that you or someone you know is or may be suffering from hemorrhoids then make an appointment with Dr. Pandya in our office by calling (559) 782-8533 for further evaluation and management.
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