Hemorrhoids are an uncomfortable and common affliction among adults in the U.S. Hemorrhoids occur in almost half of all men and women by the time they reach 50. These inflamed veins lead to a host of irritating symptoms that can impact your quality of life and ability to participate in some activities. Fortunately, there are many options for treating hemorrhoids, including surgical options for patients who cannot manage the condition through lifestyle changes and topical medications.
What are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are swollen, enlarged or dilated veins or tissue that typically occur around the lower rectum or anus. Those that form inside the rectum are known as internal hemorrhoids, while those that develop outside the anus are called external hemorrhoids. Both internal and external hemorrhoids can lead to pain, bleeding and itching, prompting many patients to seek treatment. The most common cause of hemorrhoids is straining during bowel movements and chronic diarrhea or constipation. They can also occur during pregnancy, when the growing uterus puts additional pressure on the veins. Many hemorrhoids are asymptomatic, which means you may not even know you have the condition until problems arise. Patients who have symptoms with their hemorrhoids might experience the following:
- Small amounts of painless bleeding during bowel movements
- Swelling or a lump around the anus, which may become large and painful
- Itching, irritation or discomfort around the anus
When hemorrhoids do cause uncomfortable symptoms, treatment is usually needed to heal the hemorrhoids and alleviate those symptoms.
Benefits of Hemorrhoid Surgery
Surgical treatment of hemorrhoids is usually recommended when topical medications and lifestyle changes alone do not bring sufficient relief. There are different types of hemorrhoid surgeries available today, based on whether the hemorrhoid is internal or external, the size of the hemorrhoid and the preferences of each patient. In some cases, the surgery will involve eliminating blood supply to the hemorrhoid so it eventually shrinks and disappears on its own. Another procedure, known as a hemorrhoidectomy, removes the large, painful hemorrhoid entirely. Benefits of hemorrhoid surgery might include:
- Relief from painful symptoms associated with hemorrhoids
- Prevention of complications due to large hemorrhoids
- Different surgical options let us tailor your procedure to your needs
- Hemorrhoid surgery can be performed on an outpatient basis
- Minimal downtime after the procedure
Options in Hemorrhoid Surgery
At Missoula Surgical Associates, we offer the following options in hemorrhoid surgery:
Rubber Band Ligation – Bands are placed around the base of the hemorrhoid during this procedure to cut off blood flow. In the days following the procedure, the hemorrhoid shrinks and eventually falls off. The procedure can be performed right in our office on an outpatient basis, using local anesthesia.
Hemorrhoidectomy – This procedure, which can be performed under local or general anesthesia, uses excision techniques to completely remove the hemorrhoid. It is usually recommended for very large hemorrhoids or hemorrhoids that have not responded well to other types of treatment.
If you are suffering with pain, irritation and the embarrassment of hemorrhoids, help is available. The surgeons at Missoula Surgical Associates offer vast experience in all types of hemorrhoid surgery and will help you determine the best procedure for your specific needs. To learn more, contact Missoula Surgical Associates at 406.542.7525.