“Piles” is a common problem suffered by millions of people worldwide. Haemorrhoids commonly known by the name “Piles” are swollen veins in the anus and rectum. Haemorrhoids may be located inside the rectum (internal haemorrhoids), or they may develop under the skin around the anus (external haemorrhoids).
Haemorrhoids develop from an increase in pressure in the lower rectum. Factors that might cause increased pressure are straining during bowel movements, sitting for long periods of time on the toilet, chronic diarrhea or constipation, obesity, pregnancy. Symptoms of hemorrhoid are bleeding while passing stools, itching in the anal region, pain or discomfort, swelling around the anus.
Procedures to diagnose internal hemorrhoids are, Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) and Visual inspection of anal canal and rectum with a proctoscope. If haemorrhoids produce only mild discomfort, over-the-counter creams, ointments and suppositories are sufficient.
For persistent bleeding or painful hemorrhoids, Rubber band ligation, Injection (sclerotherapy), Coagulation (infrared, laser or bipolar) and Haemorrhoidal Artery Ligation (HAL) are the minimally invasive procedures available.
If minimally invasive procedures haven't been successful or the hemorrhoids are large, surgical procedures are recommended. Haemorrhoidectomy is the most effective and complete way to remove hemorrhoids. Another procedure, called stapled Haemorrhoidectomy, generally involves less pain than Haemorrhoidectomy and allows an earlier return to work. Talk to your surgeon about what might be the best option for you.
The best way to prevent haemorrhoids is to keep your stools soft, so they pass easily. Follow these tips to prevent haemorrhoids: Eat high-fiber foods, drink plenty of fluids, consider fiber supplements, don't strain while passing stools, pass stools as soon as you feel the urge, exercise, avoid long periods of standing or sitting.
(Note: Rectal bleeding is seen in various conditions, including colorectal cancer and anal cancer. Don't assume that bleeding is coming from haemorrhoids without consulting a doctor).
Dr. Narendra Kumar [MBBS, MS, FMAS] is a General Surgery Specialist at Royal Bahrain Hospital. For more information or to book your appointments call 17246800 or plan your visit at www.royalbahrainhospital.com.