The National Institute of Health indicates that over 50% of the population suffers from symptoms of hemorrhoids by the time they reach the age of 50. Historically, treatment for hemorrhoids has rarely been with anything other than over the counter drugs. However, more and more effective treatments are being developed and used by gastroenterologists in the Dallas and Plano,TX areas.
What are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids develop when the veins around the anus or lower rectum become swollen and inflamed. When the veins swell inside the anal canal, it causes internal hemorrhoids. However, when the veins near the opening of the anus swell, they form external hemorrhoids. It is not uncommon to have both internal and external hemorrhoids at the same time.
What Causes Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids usually develop from increased pressure in the lower rectum. Increased pressure can be caused by:
- Constipation/ Straining during bowel movements
- Prolonged sitting on the toilet
- Liver disease
- Anal intercourse
- Bright red blood from the anus
- Rectal pain
- Itching around the anus
- Protruding (thrombosed) lumps from the anus
When Should You go to the Doctor for Hemorrhoids?
If you are experiencing any one of the symptoms I mentioned above, it is advised to have an exam performed by your Gastroenterologist for the proper diagnoses. Although, these are signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids, the same symptoms can mimic many other conditions and diseases.
Traditionally, the treatments have been limited to at home remedies (soaking in warm water), over the counter medications and ointments, or very painful hemorrhoidectomies. However, developments in hemorrhoid treatments have greatly improved over the years and are used by Dr. Kenneth Brown.
Internal Hemorrhoids Treatment
Hemorrhoid banding, using the CRH O’Reagan Painless Banding system, is a new innovative procedure to treat internal hemorrhoids in which a Gastroenterology Specialist can use an anoscope to place rubber bands at the base of the hemorrhoid where it attaches to the anus wall. This procedure works by cutting off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid which allows for the inflamed veins to shrink. This quick and painless procedure is becoming the treatment of choice because of the ease and effectiveness of the banding.
External Hemorrhoids Treatment
Most of the symptoms created by external hemorrhoids are caused by internal hemorrhoids, so we often treat the internal hemorrhoids to reduce the external symptoms. However, if the cause is something else like an anal fissure, we will treat that with medication. The best treatment regimen for your external hemorrhoids will be discussed with you after your gastroenterologist has completed their evaluation.
With the new technology and developments, hemorrhoids are very treatable. The options for treatment have become less expensive, less painful and with little to no recovery time. The pain and discomfort suffered from hemorrhoids can be easily diagnosed and treated by a physician specializing in gastroenterology.