What are haemorrhoids?
Haemorrhoids, also known as piles, are swollen veins found inside the rectum (internal haemorrhoids) or outside the anus (external haemorrhoids). Patients with haemorrhoids can experience rectal bleeding, anal itching, irritation, and pain.
How to treat haemorrhoids?
Haemorrhoids, especially the small ones, can sometimes heal on their own. However, larger haemorrhoids, especially those that are symptomatic, need to be treated. Here are some ways to treat haemorrhoids:
- Consume more fibre and drink more water so as to soften stool and reduce straining during bowel movements
- Apply prescribed topical creams that soothe the pain and itch
- After a bowel movement, clean gently with damp toilet paper rather than wipe roughly with dry toilet paper
Surgery for haemorrhoids, known as haemorrhoidectomy, is typically considered when other non-invasive treatments or minimally invasive procedures like rubber band ligation or sclerotherapy, have proven ineffective in managing severe cases of haemorrhoids.
Surgery involves the surgical removal of swollen and inflamed veins in the rectum or anus. Haemorrhoidectomy can be performed using various techniques, including traditional surgery, laser, or stapled haemorrhoidopexy. The operation usually involves excising the haemorrhoidal tissue and closing the wound with sutures.
While effective in treating persistent and severe haemorrhoids, surgery often requires a recovery period, during which patients might experience discomfort, pain, and temporary changes in bowel movements. However, post-operative care and proper lifestyle adjustments usually contribute to successful outcomes and relief from hemorrhoidal symptoms.
Why do haemorrhoids need to be treated?
Haemorrhoids should be treated because they can cause discomfort, pain, itching, and bleeding during bowel movements, leading to significant discomfort. If left untreated, haemorrhoids can also worsen over time, potentially resulting in complications like thrombosis (clotting), prolapse (protrusion), and inflammation, causing more pain and requiring more invasive treatments. Seeking treatment promptly helps manage symptoms and prevents the development of complications associated with haemorrhoids.