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When Do Hemorrhoids Require Medical Intervention?

When Do Hemorrhoids Require Medical Intervention?

About one in every 20 Americans has hemorrhoids, making them an extremely common — but nevertheless embarrassing — condition. Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in your rectum or anus, and they often cause uncomfortable symptoms like itching, pain, and bleeding.

There are lots of home remedies for hemorrhoids, including topical ointments, sitz baths, and dietary changes. But unfortunately, those treatments aren’t always effective at relieving hemorrhoids and keeping the discomfort from coming back.

Sometimes hemorrhoids require medical intervention, and Elvira Klause, MD, FACS, is here to help. She specializes in minimally invasive hemorrhoid treatment to help you start feeling better faster.

When to go to the doctor for hemorrhoids

With all the over-the-counter remedies available, it’s normal to try treating hemorrhoids on your own at first. But if your symptoms aren’t improving, your hemorrhoids might require medical intervention. Here are some signs it’s time to go see a doctor.

Severe or persistent symptoms

Hemorrhoids are uncomfortable, but they should improve after about a week of at-home care. If you’re experiencing severe or persistent symptoms lasting longer than a week, seek medical attention. 

Persistent pain or bleeding could indicate more serious hemorrhoid conditions, like a thrombosed hemorrhoid. Thrombosed hemorrhoids can cause severe pain and swelling, and they require professional care.

Large or prolapsed hemorrhoids

Large hemorrhoids can be more painful, and they may get worse without professional treatment. Prolapsed hemorrhoids develop when an internal hemorrhoid bulges out of your anus, and they can also be very painful. 

Without proper care, these types of hemorrhoids can become strangulated and lead to tissue death.

Persistent bleeding

Hemorrhoids can cause bright red blood when you wipe after a bowel movement. While mild bleeding is common, excessive or prolonged bleeding can be a sign of a more serious condition such as colon cancer. 

If you experience persistent bleeding with hemorrhoids, seek medical attention to rule out any underlying conditions.


Hemorrhoids can become infected, which may lead to worsening discomfort and other complications. Signs of infection include fever, swelling, and unusual discharge. If you suspect your hemorrhoids may be infected, seek medical attention immediately.

Other health conditions

Certain other health conditions could increase your risk of hemorrhoid complications, including infection. If you have diabetes, heart disease, or liver disease, you should proactively manage your health to help prevent these complications.

Your medical treatment options for hemorrhoids

Dr. Klause and our team take a compassionate approach to hemorrhoid care. We diagnose your condition, then recommend the best treatment option for your needs.

Rubber band ligation involves placing a rubber band around the base of the hemorrhoid, which cuts off the blood supply and makes the hemorrhoid to shrink and fall off. 

Another common treatment is sclerotherapy, which involves injecting a solution into the hemorrhoid, making it shrink and eventually disappear.

Both rubber band ligation and sclerotherapy are relatively painless, and we can perform both procedures in our office.

In more severe cases, Dr. Klause may recommend transanal hemorrhoidal dearterialization or hemorrhoidectomy. These minimally invasive procedures involve removing hemorrhoid tissue surgically to keep symptoms from returning.

While many cases of hemorrhoids can be treated with home remedies, some may require medical intervention. If you’re experiencing symptoms of painful or severe hemorrhoids, don’t wait to get the care you need.

Call our San Clemente, California, office at 949-245-6910 or request your first appointment online now.

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