By about age 50, chances are better than even that you’ve dealt with hemorrhoids at some point. They can be irritating and painful, and in some cases, they may need medical treatment.
In this blog, gastroenterologist Dr. Anthony Borcich, who offers hemorrhoid treatment in NYC, explains more about hemorrhoids and how they can be treated.
What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids, which are also called piles, are swollen clumps of veins around the anus or in the lower rectum. These veins can stretch under pressure, and when they swell and bulge, the result is hemorrhoids.
There are two types of hemorrhoids:
- Internal – those that develop within the anus or rectum. They can bleed, but even when this happens, there’s often no pain. If they push out through the anus (called a prolapsed hemorrhoid), they can become irritated and itchy.
- External – those that develop under the skin outside of the anus. These are usually noticeable and can be painful or bleed when you have a bowel movement. If blood from these hemorrhoids pools and forms a clot, it can cause a great deal of pain, swelling, and inflammation.
What are risk factors for developing hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are more common as you get older, and you’re also more likely to get them if you’re overweight or pregnant. Straining while you’re on the toilet or when trying to lift heavy objects is also believed to increase your risk of developing hemorrhoids.
In addition, you’re more likely to get them if you parents had them.
What types of treatments are available?
Treatments range from lifestyle modifications to surgery, with the most conservative, least-invasive treatments being the first your doctor will try.
Common treatments include the following:
- Losing weight if you’re overweight
- Drinking more water
- Adding more water to your diet
- Soaking in a tub of warm water for at least 10 minutes a day
- Avoiding the use of soap, which can irritate hemorrhoids
- Cleaning your anus with warm water every day
- Using ice packs or cold compresses on your anus to help relieve swelling
- Adding more fiber to your diet by eating more vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains
- Taking a fiber supplement if needed
- Drinking plenty of water every day
- Using non-prescription pain relievers
- Using over-the-counter topical creams
When more conservative treatments aren’t effective and your hemorrhoids are severe, surgery may be needed in some cases. The following are ways in which hemorrhoids are treated with surgery:
- Rubber band ligation – Tiny rubber bands are placed around the hemorrhoids, which cuts off their blood supply. They’ll shrink and fall off within a few days.
- Sclerotherapy – Special medication is injected into the hemorrhoids to shrink them.
- Coagulation (infrared, laser, or bipolar) – Infrared light or heat is used to target internal hemorrhoids so they harden and shrivel. It also helps prevent hemorrhoids from developing in the future. Infrared coagulation is minimally invasive and can be performed in the doctor’s office.
- Hemorrhoidectomy – This more invasive surgery can be used to treat serious, chronic, or large hemorrhoids. It’s performed under sedation, but you can usually go home the same day.
Where to go for hemorrhoid treatment in NYC?
Dr. Borcich has over 30 years of experience in providing care including hemorrhoid treatment in NYC. He’s board-certified in gastroenterology and internal medicine and combines expertise with compassion when caring for his patients.
If you’ve been suffering from hemorrhoids, make an appointment today with Dr. Borcich. He’ll recommend the most conservative hemorrhoid treatment in NYC possible to relieve your pain and discomfort.