Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels located in or around your rectum and anus. When the blood vessels are dilated inside your rectum, they are called internal hemorrhoids. Blood vessels swollen around the exterior of the anus are called external hemorrhoids.
Internal hemorrhoids often cannot be seen or felt. External hemorrhoids, on the other hand, are usually painful and can be felt if they prolapsed during a bowel movement.
A number of different things can cause hemorrhoids, including straining too much during bowel movements, frequently passing hard stools, having frequent diarrhea, being pregnant, being obese, standing or sitting for too long, and cirrhosis of the liver. Some people are simply thought to have weaker veins, which increases their chances of developing hemorrhoids.
The most common symptom of a hemorrhoid is a pain or pressure in the anal area. Additionally, you may see or feel a lump on the anus that might get worse during or after a bowel movement. Sometimes your anus may feel itchy or sore. Some people even experience a small amount of blood in their underwear or on the surface of their stool.
Several different treatments are available for hemorrhoids, most of which involve an incision-less procedure. Rubber band ligation is one common method in which the doctor ties a band around the hemorrhoids, causing them to lose circulation and eventually shrivel up and die. Sclerotherapy is another technique during which the doctor injects the hemorrhoid with a chemical solution that causes it to shrink and eventually disappear. Because both of these methods do not involve surgery, they can be performed right in the doctor's office.
For more serious cases, a transanal hemorrhoid dearterialization is a minimally invasive surgery that helps to remove internal hemorrhoids. If this method fails, a hemorrhoidectomy may be necessary. This is a surgical procedure that involves cutting away hemorrhoids.
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