FAQ on Hemorroids
Q: What are hemorrhoids?
A: 50% of the American population have suffered or will suffer from hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids natural occur in our body. Hemorrhoids are swollen or dilated blood vessels located inside the anus (internal hemorrhoids) or around the exterior of anus (external hemorrhoids). It is normal for blood vessels to be located in this region. Doctors are not exactly sure why these veins become enlarged and swollen, but several associations have been made. Hemorrhoids are usually not very painful or critical, but they can be bothersome.
Q: What causes hemorrhoids?
A: Hemorrhoids are often caused by a combination of many things. Uncovered reasons include straining during a bowel movement, frequent constipation (hard or difficult bowel movements), diarrhea (frequent, loose, watery stool), pregnancy, cirrhosis of the liver.
Q: What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids?
A: Multiple symptoms of hemorrhoids may occur. Symptoms can be made worse by straining during constipation and overly aggressive wiping of the anus. The symptoms can be pain and pressure in the anal canal; a grapelike lump on the anus; itching and soreness in and around the anus; and/or blood on underwear, toilet paper, the surface of the stool or in the toilet bowl.
Q: What are internal hemorrhoids?
A: The classic symptom of an internal hemorrhoid is the presence of blood when you go to the bathroom. The blood is found on the stool or toilet paper or in the toilet bowl. Internal hemorrhoids occasionally extend outside of the anus. Certain conditions may cause internal hemorrhoids to bulge and/or become irritated and bleed, including the following: pregnancy and trauma during childbirth, obesity, chronic (long-lasting) constipation with straining, diarrhea, anal intercourse and rarely, a bulging internal hemorrhoid may cause a blood clot to occur.
Q: What is hemorrhoidal prolapse?
A: Prolapse is enlargement of the hemorrhoidal tissue. When prolapse occurs, the rectal mucosa protrudes outside the anus. At first, prolapse of the rectum may occur only at defecation. Later, it may accompany sneezing and coughing, and may also occur at any exertion. Disturbances of normal continence, mucus, bleeding, and impairment of rectal sensation are frequent.
Q: How are hemorrhoids treated?
A: You may need to have surgery to treat the internal hemorrhoids. Several different procedures are available to eliminate or shrink hemorrhoids. These include: 1. Rubber band ligation: the doctor ties a rubber band around the hemorrhoid to cut off the circulation; the hemorrhoid then shrivels and disappears. 2. Sclerotherapy: the doctor injects a chemical solution into the hemorrhoid to shrink it. 3. Infrared coagulation: the physician burns the hemorrhoid off. 4. Hemorrhoidectomy: this is a surgical procedure to remove hemorrhoids. 5. Transanal Hemorrhoidal Dearterialization or THD: THD a less invasive, less traumatic approach to hemorrhoid treatment. Consult your physician to see what’s right for you.
Q: Where are hemorrhoids treated?
A: Depending on the severity of your hemorrhoids, your doctor may perform the procedure in the hospital or doctor’s office. Again, consult with your physician.
Q: What is the THD procedure?
A: During the THD procedure, which is minimally invasive, the surgeon restricts only the blood vessels with doppler-guided technology and suture. There is not excision or “cutting” of tissue. Because there is no tissue removal, there is less pain.
Q: When can I go back to normal activities?
A: THD allows for very quick recovery. Normal activities may be resumed within 24-48 hours. Your physician may also advice a high fiber diet.
Q: How can I prevent hemorrhoids?
A: Remember hemorrhoids occur naturally. You can prevent aggravating hemorrhoids by keeping bowel movements regular and stool soft. Try relieving constipation with a high fiber diet. Also, avoid prolonged standing, sitting, and heavy lifting, and chronic coughing, straining at stool, and aggressive wiping.
© 2011 THD AMERICA. Used with permission.