Do I Need Hemorrhoid Surgery? Here’s How to Find Out…
"Do I need hemorrhoid surgery?" If you're asking yourself that question, there's a decent chance that surgical treatment is in your future.
However, not every case of hemorrhoids requires a medical procedure. Sometimes, treating your hemorrhoids at home can be enough to bring you relief. To help you figure out whether you need hemorrhoid surgery, consult this guide to symptoms and the treatments they require.
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins. Because of the swelling and inflammation, the tissue is irritated. One of the most common ways that you experience this irritation is through a feeling of itchiness.
Itching is uncomfortable, but you may be able to find relief using home remedies. To treat hemorrhoids at home:
Learn more about caring for a hemorrhoid flare-up in the video below:
If you experience itchy hemorrhoids, you might be tempted to scratch or to press hard when wiping. However, an aggressive approach can make the problem worse. You might end up increasing the itchiness that you feel, or you could add pain to your list of symptoms.
Even if itching and scratching are not problems for you, you may experience pain simply because of the inflammation of the tissue. External hemorrhoids are more likely to cause pain than internal ones. In fact, if external hemorrhoids develop blood clots inside, the pain can become quite intense.
On its own, pain is not a sure sign that hemorrhoid surgery is required. Treated with proper home care, the pain may go away after a few days.
However, it's a good idea to consult your doctor because a procedure done in your doctor's office can provide relief if you do have a clot. This treatment is best done as soon as possible after the clot forms, so don't delay seeking medical advice.
Bleeding is a common symptom that occurs with hemorrhoids. You are most likely to notice blood when you use the bathroom. It is usually bright red and may be on the toilet paper or in the toilet basin.
A small amount of bleeding is not an automatic sign that your hemorrhoids need surgical intervention. Hemorrhoids of any size may bleed because the enlarged veins can stretch out the hemorrhoidal tissue. This makes the tissue thinner than normal, so it may tear easily as waste material rubs past it.
Do all hemorrhoids need surgery? No, bleeding hemorrhoids may resolve without an in-office procedure, but you should consult a doctor to ensure that the problem is actually the result of hemorrhoids and not a more serious condition.
Also, if you are bleeding a good deal, this is a sign that you may need a medical procedure to resolve the problem.
Hemorrhoids often respond to home remedies within a couple of weeks. If your symptoms do not improve by then, your doctor may suggest undergoing a procedure.
Finding out that you need hemorrhoid surgery does not automatically mean that you will have a hemorrhoidectomy, which is a procedure in which the inflamed tissue is surgically cut off. In fact, over 90 percent of cases can be resolved without resorting to such extreme measures.
One option for a minimally invasive treatment of internal hemorrhoids is laser coagulation. It is often recommended for medium-grade hemorrhoids – specifically, those rated level two or level three.
In this procedure, a specialty laser is inserted right into the affected tissue. The energy that it emits causes the tissue to coagulate and scar. Therefore, the hemorrhoid can no longer get the blood that it needs, so it withers and falls off.
Another option is hemorrhoid banding. This treatment is usually best for patients with level one or level two hemorrhoids, but more severe cases may also benefit from the procedure.
A tool called a ligator is used to place a tiny rubber band around the base of the hemorrhoid. This is another method of cutting off blood flow to the tissue so that it shrinks and then separates from the rectal wall. Learn more about this procedure in the video below:
Sometimes an internal hemorrhoid sticks out of the anal opening. This condition is called prolapsing, and you can tell how far a hemorrhoid has progressed based on its level of prolapse. The most serious hemorrhoids are permanently prolapsed and do not go back into place even when you try to push them into the rectum.
Prolapse is a sign that it is time for more than home remedies. Once again, however, hemorrhoidectomy does not have to be the first course of treatment. Laser coagulation and rubber band ligation can be very effective procedures for resolving prolapsed hemorrhoids.
If you've experienced hemorrhoids before, you should maintain a lifestyle aimed at hemorrhoid prevention. This includes eating lots of fiber, drinking plenty of water, avoiding constipation, and reducing how much sitting and straining you do.
Despite these changes, some people may experience repeated flare-ups. If you get hemorrhoids often, your doctor will probably recommend treating them instead of continuing to rely on home remedies. Hemorrhoidectomy may eventually be required if initial procedures don't keep the problem at bay.
However, it's usually best to try other treatments before resorting to major surgery. Minimally invasive procedures boast easier recovery times, and they are sufficient for treating the majority of cases.
Ultimately, the best person to answer the question "Do I need hemorrhoid surgery?" is your doctor. Having your symptoms checked by a medical professional is always a smart decision. Your doctor can confirm that you do, in fact, have hemorrhoids and provide recommendations about your best treatment options.
Hopefully, this list provided a good starting point that will help you know what to expect at your appointment.
As with all medical issues, your physician is the ultimate source as to what procedure best fits your needs. Discuss all options and get a second opinion if you have any doubts. These articles are intended to be a source of general information only.