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Sclerotherapy for Internal Hemorrhoids: What to Expect

Sclerotherapy for Internal Hemorrhoids: What to Expect

Hemorrhoids, also called piles, can certainly be uncomfortable and even embarrassing to talk about, but they’re no joke. 

If you live in southern Orange County, California, and you’re struggling with hemorrhoids, you can count on the compassion and discretion of Dr. Elvira Klause and our medical staff to help you find relief.

You can have internal hemorrhoids, which develop inside your rectum, or external hemorrhoids, which develop around your anus. In this post, we’re focusing on internal hemorrhoids.

While there are several ways to approach treating them, we want to discuss sclerotherapy, in which Dr. Klause injects a chemical into the swollen veins to seal them shut and allow them to fade away.

To help you prepare and learn what to expect, we take a look at the causes of internal hemorrhoids, what sclerotherapy does, and what the process is like.

Anatomy lesson

Your anal sphincter plays a key role in removing waste from your body — the end process of digestion. The sphincter is the group of muscles (internal and external) that surround the rectum and anus and help control the release of stool. 

It’s in this area of the body that hemorrhoids appear, the result of the veins either inside or outside the anus becoming swollen. 

Internal hemorrhoids are those located inside your rectum and while you might not feel them, straining and irritating them while passing stool can lead to bleeding. Both forms of hemorrhoids can lead to prolapse, which causes stretching and bulging outside of your anus.

Causes of internal hemorrhoids

There are several factors that increase your chances of getting hemorrhoids of any type, but one of the most common is straining when going to the bathroom either by sitting too long or pushing too hard while defecating. 

Other causes of hemorrhoids include:

How sclerotherapy helps

As we mentioned above, this nonsurgical treatment involves injecting a solution into lymph or blood vessels, shrinking damaged or swollen tissue. The name comes from the solution used — sclerosant, a chemical formula that irritates the vessels it targets. The vein walls swell until they stick together, cutting off blood flow. 

Sclerotherapy is a common treatment for several venous conditions, but for internal hemorrhoids, it’s an ideal solution that doesn’t require surgical intervention.

What to expect from the procedure

Before starting this outpatient procedure, we may recommend an enema to clear out the colon. Once Dr. Klause identifies the hemorrhoids, she uses a needle to inject the sclerosant into the targeted veins. 

No anesthesia is necessary, and you’re free to go home once the treatment is complete. You may experience pressure or a dull ache for up to three days afterward. Depending on the size of the hemorrhoid, multiple shots may be necessary to fully shrink it. 

If you’re struggling with hemorrhoids, help is available. Make an appointment today with Dr. Klause at our Laguna Hills, California, office and get the relief you so desperately need.

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