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Procedures - Hemorrhoid Treatment

Treatments

 

Initial Treatments

 

Often hemorrhoids can be treated in the clinic. Initial medical treatment of hemorrhoids is aimed at relieving symptoms. Measures to reduce symptoms include:

  • Sitz baths—sitting in plain, warm water 2-3 times a day for about 10 minutes each time
  • Ice packs—putting cold packs on the anus for short durations to relieve pain and swelling
  • Medication—applying hemorrhoidal creams or suppositories to the affected area
  • High-fiber diet—Eating more fresh fruit, raw, or cooked vegetables, and whole grains has been consistently shown to reduce hemorrhoid symptoms including bleeding. If you enjoy spicy foods, you can continue eating them. Studies have shown that they do not worsen hemorrhoidal symptoms.
  • Fluids—drinking 6-8 (8-ounce) glasses of nonalcoholic fluids daily to soften stools

 

Nonsurgical Procedures

 

If these treatments provide insufficient relief, one of several nonsurgical procedures may be used to shrink or destroy the hemorrhoidal tissue. These procedures, which are generally performed in our surgery center, include:

  • Rubber band ligation—a rubber band placed around the base of the hemorrhoid to cut off circulation and force the hemorrhoid to wither away within a few days
  • Sclerotherapy—a chemical solution is injected near the blood vessel to cause scarring and shrinkage of the hemorrhoid
  • Coagulation therapy—the use of electricity (direct current electrotherapy), laser, or infrared light (photocoagulation) to shrink the hemorrhoidal tissue

 

Surgery

 

If nonsurgical procedures are either not an option or fail to resolve the problem, surgical management is the final option:

  • Hemorrhoidectomy—this surgery involves permanent removal of hemorrhoids by cutting the hemorrhoidal tissue away. Some of the newest surgical treatments involve using stainless steel staples. While many surgeons favor these treatments, there is some evidence that techniques that are more traditional produce more consistent and long-lasting relief.
  • If you are diagnosed with hemorrhoids, follow your doctor's instructions.

 

Prevention

 

The best way to prevent hemorrhoids is to keep stools soft so they pass easily. The following practices can help:

  • Eat a high fiber diet.
  • Exercise regularly, especially walking.
  • Empty bowels as soon as possible after the urge occurs.
  • Avoid the overuse of laxatives.