What are the treatment options for hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids commonly resolve themselves without any treatment and may continually disappear and flare up over time. For particularly bad or recurring hemorrhoids, home remedies and over-the-counter medicines can help reduce symptoms. For severe conditions, minimally invasive procedures and surgery may be necessary to relieve pain and remove the hemorrhoids entirely.
 
Some common treatment options for hemorrhoids include:
 
  • Home remedies:
  • Eat more fiber: fiber is a natural stool softener which reduces the pressure put on hemorrhoids by hard stools
  • Exercise more to improve bowel function
  • Warm bath (Sitz): bathing the anal area in warm water can relax the sphincter muscle and reduce pressure on the hemorrhoid vessels
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen to reduce swelling and pain
  • Apply topical creams such as hydrocortisone cream and other over-the-counter hemorrhoid creams
  • Use moist towelettes instead of dry toilet paper to avoid irritation
 
 
  • Procedures/Surgery
  • Rubber band ligation: a very common procedure for severe hemorrhoids, tiny rubber bands are placed around internal hemorrhoids to stop the blood flow. The hemorrhoids wither within a week and may be uncomfortable during this time, but afterwards will likely not return.
  • Sclerotherapy: a chemical agent is injected into internal hemorrhoids, causing them to shrink
  • Coagulation: lasers or infrared light are used to harden and shrivel small internal hemorrhoids
  • Stapling: this procedure blocks blood flow to hemorrhoids and secures them in their normal position using a stapling device under general anesthesia.
  • Hemorrhoidectomy: may be necessary if you have large prolapsed internal hemorrhoids or severe external hemorrhoids despite attempting to control them by other methods. In this procedure, the enlarged hemorrhoid blood vessels are removed through small incisions under general anesthesia. This surgery has a success rate of curing 95% of cases with very few complications.
 
 
picture of hemorrhoid surgical procedure
 
 

Sources:
  • "Hemorrhoids and What to Do about Them - Harvard Health." Harvard Health Blog, Harvard Health Publishing, Oct. 2013, www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/hemorrhoids_and_what_to_do_about_them.
  • "Hemorrhoids Treatment, Symptoms & More." Cleveland Clinic, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 2016, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15120-hemorrhoids.
  • "Hemorrhoids." Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 6 Mar. 2018, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hemorrhoids/symptoms-causes/syc-20360268.

 

 

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