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Hemorrhoids

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Hemorrhoids are swollen veins located in the anal canal. They are very common, and not usually a major health concern. There are two types of hemorrhoids; internal and external. Internal hemorrhoids are located inside of the anal canal, while external hemorrhoids are located near or on the opening of the anus. It is possible to have both types concurrently. Treatment depends on type and severity. To learn more about hemorrhoids, please contact Central Florida Hepatology & Gastroenterology at 407.303.1812 or request an appointment on our website.

Symptoms of Hemorrhoids

The most likely symptoms hemorrhoid victims experience are bleeding during bowel movements (often seen on toilet paper), rectal itching, and rectal pain when wiping the anus.

“These in bullets”

Internal hemorrhoid symptoms – individuals suffering from internal hemorrhoids commonly see blood on the toilet paper, on the stool or in the toilet. They are typically very small, but can grow in size so they actually bulge out of the anus. They are especially painful when the blood supply is cut off due to the anus restricting the blood flow.

External hemorrhoid symptoms – these types of hemorrhoids become irritated leading to a hard, painful lump. These lumps are referred to as thrombosed hemorrhoids.

Causes of Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids have a variety of causes such as:

  • Excessive straining caused by attempting to complete a bowel movement too quickly
  • Persistent bowel movements or constipation leading to excessive strain
  • Carrying excess weight, particularly in the abdomen, which leads to extra strain on the pelvis
  • Pregnancy and labor – hormonal changes as well as the extreme pressure and pushing involved in labor
  • Certain medical conditions that cause blood to collect in the abdomen and pelvis

Treatment of Hemorrhoids

  • The majority of hemorrhoids can be effectively treated with lifestyle changes in diet leading to healthy and regular bowel movements. Many individuals use medications such as ointments and suppositories for relief of symptoms. Physicians may also prescribe a hydrocortisone cream to relieve inflammation and itching.
  • Fixative procedures are more invasive than medication, but less invasive than surgery. Fixative procedures involve cutting off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid through the use of rubber bands, heat, lasers or electrical current.
  • Hemorrhoid surgery (hemorrhoidectomy) is typically reserved for extremely large hemorrhoids or when several smaller hemorrhoids are present. Surgery is typically very effective, but can be expensive and painful. Physicians generally attempt the least invasive forms of treatment before proceeding along the treatment continuum towards surgery. Fixative treatment is preferred for individuals over the age of 65 or those in poor health.

To learn more about hemorrhoids, please contact Central Florida Hepatology & Gastroenterology at 407.303.1812 or request an appointment on our website.