Hemorrhoids can not only be uncomfortable, but painful. Internal hemorrhoids can cause anal bleeding, while external hemorrhoids can cause severe pain and itching. A doctor must diagnose hemorrhoids and may need to do an internal examination to rule out any other conditions that may be causing symptoms.
A small external hemorrhoid can sometimes be resolved by increasing fiber and fluid intake. Using warm sitz baths along with acetaminophen can relieve itching and discomfort. Creams, ointments and pads are also available to temporarily alleviate pain and itching.
There are several procedures that can be done to treat hemorrhoids.
•Injection (sclerotherapy)- This is an injection used to shrink the hemorrhoid with a chemical that closes off the hemorrhoid.
•Rubber band ligation (banding)- An internal hemorrhoid can be treated by placing small rubber bands around it to instantly cut off blood flow. Although sometimes a little painful, this procedure has proven to be very successful. Within a week the hemorrhoid will fall off.
•Coagulationor cauterization- Using an infrared light, laser beam, or electric probe, this procedure causes prolapsed (internal) hemorrhoids to close, harden and shrink.
•Surgery- Surgery is used for large, extremely painful hemorrhoids, or if other treatments have failed. A doctor can determine which method is best.
·Hemorrhoidectomy- This procedure is completed by a surgeon and is the most capable of completely removing the hemorrhoid. A local anesthetic with sedation, a spinal anesthetic or a general anesthetic is used for this surgery. The hemorrhoid, as well as any other excessive tissue that is causing bleeding, is then removed.
·Stapled hemorrhoidopexy (hemorrhoid stapling)- Stapling obstructs blood flow to the hemorrhoid and usually causes less pain than having a hemorrhoidectomy. Although this method usually works well, stapling has been associated with a risk of reappearance of the hemorrhoid and rectal prolapse.