Many patients suffer from hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are dilated blood vessels of the anal canal. The surrounding tissue can become inflamed and irritated. People notice hemorrhoids for two reasons – blood in the stool and pain. Hemorrhoids often occur with increased straining such as during pregnancy or in patients with long standing constipation. Patients can sometimes prevent hemorrhoids with maintaining soft stools and adequate fiber. However, some people are more prone to them than others.
There are two different types of hemorrhoids–internal and external. Internal hemorrhoids usually present with bleeding. These are painless and located deeper within the anal canal than external hemorrhoids. Initial treatment involves stool softeners and sitz baths. Alternatively, these can be treated with band ligation, which is done under sedation or excision which is performed usually under general anesthesia.
External hemorrhoids are located closer to the anal opening. They are painful but can also present with bleeding. Patients often notice bleeding after a hard bowel movement. The hemorrhoidal tissue is delicate and easily irritated. Patients need to carefully clean the area after bowel movements with baby wipes or a moist washcloth. First line therapy includes ensuring bowel movements are soft and sitz baths. Over the counter anti-inflammatory such as ibprophen are also useful. Prescribed medications usually include a topical steroid solution.
If symptoms continue to worsen despite medical management patients may choose to proceed with surgical excision which is called a hemorrhoidectomy. There are three columns of hemorrhoidal tissue. Most surgeons will take only one or two in any one procedure to prevent anal stenosis. The tissue is removed and the mucosa is sewn back together. Patients can typically return to work the following day.
While hemorrhoids are a relatively common medical condition, it is important that patients still seek an experienced surgeon to ensure proper treatment. Dr. Jenna Kazil is a double board-certified vascular and general surgeon in Bradenton who has treated countless hemorrhoids. Serving the people of Manatee County and Florida’s West coast from Lutz to Sarasota, Dr. Kazil is a first-rate surgical specialist that has helped many patients with a variety of surgical needs. People in need of a general or vascular surgeon should call today to schedule a consultation.