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What are the symptoms and treatments of hemorrhoids

What are the symptoms?

  • Bright red blood covering the stool, on the toilet paper or in the toilet bowl.
  • Itching/irritation in the anal area.
  • Pain or discomfort.
  • Hemorrhoids protruding from the anus (prolapsed).
  • Sometimes blood may pool in an external hemorrhoid and forms a clot (thrombus), resulting in pain, swelling and inflammation.

What are the treatments?

You can use the following suggestions to keep hemorrhoids from getting worse or to relieve your symptoms.

  • Eat a diet high in fiber, or fiber supplements (Konsyl, Metamucil, Citrucel etc.).
  • Use baby wipes or other pre-moistened towels (such as Tucks) to clean yourself after bowel movements.
  • Use soaps that contain no perfumes or dyes.
  • Take nonprescription pain relievers. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can help with pain.
  • Take a sitz bath. Fill your bathtub with just enough warm water to cover the anal area. Do this several times a day,especially after you have had a bowel movement. Soak for about 15 minutes at a time.
  • Use nonprescription medicines as recommended by your health professional or pharmacist.

If your hemorrhoids persist, your physician may recommend removal of the hemorrhoids. These procedures may be used to remove or reduce the size of the internal hemorrhoids. These procedures include:

  • Rubber Band ligation—A rubber band is placed around the base of the hemorrhoid inside the rectum. The band cuts off circulation, and the hemorrhoid withers away within a few days. Banding is usually well tolerated. The patient may experience mild cramping for 24 – 48 hours.
  • Sclerotherapy Injection—A chemical solution is injected around the blood vessel to shrink the hemorrhoid. While the injection causes little or no pain, it may be less effective than rubber band ligation.
  • Infrared Coagulation—A special device is used to burn the hemorrhoidal tissue by infrared light. They cause internal hemorrhoids to harden and shrivel. This method has fewer side effects, but is less effective than the rubber band ligation.

If the above methods are not successful or you have large hemorrhoids, your physician may recommend a surgical procedure (hemorrhoidectomy).

For more information about hemorrhoids and treatment options offered at Gwinnett Medical Center, please contact 678-312-3779.