What is the purpose of Hemorrhoid Treatments?
Hemorrhoid banding is a painless, office-based procedure that cuts off blood supply to the hemorrhoid, causing it to shrink and fall off in a few days. Hemorrhoids are cushions of tissue and blood vessels in the rectum. They can present with a number of symptoms including bleeding, pain and itching. People try a number of remedies including fiber, creams and suppositories often without benefit.
What are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins around the anus. Each of us has veins around the anus that tend to stretch under pressure. When these veins swell and bulge, they are called hemorrhoids. One set of veins is inside the rectum (internal) and another is under the skin around the anus (external). Hemorrhoidal tissue is actually helpful in holding back stool when we are at rest and in cushioning muscles when we move our bowels. Swelling can be caused by straining to move your bowels, sitting too long on the toilet or other causes, such as pregnancy, obesity or liver disease.
Hemorrhoids are very common in men and women. About half of all people have noticeable hemorrhoids by the age of 50. Many people have occasional bleeding from hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids can become apparent in women during pregnancy. The pressure of the fetus in the abdomen, as well as hormonal changes, cause hemorrhoidal veins to swell. These veins also are placed under severe pressure during the birth of the baby. For most women, such hemorrhoids don't last long.
What are symptoms of Hemorrhoids?
Internal hemorrhoids are one of the most common causes of painless rectal bleeding. This bleeding happens when the swollen veins are scratched or broken by straining or rubbing. Medicines that thin the blood such as Coumadin or aspirin can make bleeding worse. An internal hemorrhoid may come through the anus and become swollen and painful.
External hemorrhoids usually occur as painful, discolored purple bumps. This type of hemorrhoid is usually painful because it is below and around a line of nerve endings called the dentate line. Some of the common symptoms associated with external hemorrhoids are bowel movement pain, pressure around and/or near the anus, a bump/bulge near the anus, bleeding and itching.
What are treatment options for Hemorrhoids?
You may need to increase the fiber in your diet. Eat more fresh fruits, leafy veggies, and whole-grain breads and cereals (especially bran). Drink six to eight glasses of fluid (not alcohol) each day. Your doctor may suggest that you use a supplement such as Metamucil, citrucel that gives you more fiber and softens the stool. Softer stools make it easier to move your bowels and lessen pressure on the veins.
Cleaning well after you have a bowel movement can help treat and prevent hemorrhoids. Bathe the anus gently after each bowel movement using soft, moist toilet paper. Avoid a lot of wiping. If needed, you can even use a bath or shower instead of wiping. After bathing, dry the anus gently with a soft cloth or towel. To protect against irritation, cleanse the anus gently and apply a zinc oxide paste (or powder) to the area. Medicated suppositories or creams can be found at the drugstore, but are mostly meant for external hemorrhoids. You can also try cold packs, a tub bath, warm soaks (a sitz bath) or bed rest to help calm pain or swelling.
The doctors at AGMG perform a minimal invasive, office-based procedure called Hemorrhoidal Banding. We use a system called the CRH O'Regan System. This is an FDA approved hemorrhoidal treatment that effectively, safely and painlessly treats hemorrhoids. Our specially training physicians use a gentle suction device to pull in the afflicted tissue and then place a small rubber band around the base of the internal hemorrhoid; Because the hemorrhoid band is placed up around the base of the hemorrhoid, it does not contact pain-sensitive nerve endings.
This is an office-based procedure with no preparation required. During the brief and painless banding procedure, your physician will use a gentle suction device - unlike the harsh metal clamps used in other banding treatments - to place small rubber band around the base of the internal hemorrhoid where there are no pain-sensitive nerve endings. The whole thing typically takes less than 60 seconds.
Once the band is in place, it cuts off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid, causing the banded tissue to fall off, typically within a few days. You probably will not even notice when this happens! The hemorrhoid will shrink, relieving your symptoms.
During the first 24 hours, you may experience a feeling of fullness or a dull ache in the rectum, but over-the-counter pain medication will provide sufficient relief. Immediately after the procedure, all patients are advised to avoid heavy lifting or exercising the entire day. It is important to take fiber supplements to help the digestion and prevent constipation. Be sure to get up and walk around every two to three hours.
If you have multiple hemorrhoids, you'll likely need to come back to treat each one separately - that way, your doctor can monitor your treatment and ensure the complication rate is kept to an absolute minimum.