Hemorrhoids affect 5% of all Americans, and many are reluctant to talk about it, even with their doctor. The physicians at Gateway Gastroenterology understand you may hesitate to talk about hemorrhoids, but as specialists in colon and rectal problems, they’ve treated many patients with hemorrhoids at their offices in Chesterfield, Missouri. It’s always important to have rectal symptoms evaluated, just in case you have something more serious than hemorrhoids. To request an appointment, call the office or request an appointment using the online booking feature. Gateway Gastroenterology offers in-office banding services to treat hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids are enlarged veins that occur in your rectum and around your anus. The problem develops when excessive pressure causes swelling in the vein. The pressure may come from sitting on the toilet for a long time, straining during bowel movements, and lifting heavy objects. Women also tend to develop hemorrhoids during pregnancy.
The symptoms you develop depend on the location of your hemorrhoids:
Hemorrhoids that develop in the rectum, called internal hemorrhoids, may not cause symptoms. When symptoms appear, you’ll see bright red blood in the toilet or on the toilet paper after a bowel movement. Straining during bowel movements may force these hemorrhoids out through the anal opening. If that happens, the hemorrhoids can become painful.
External hemorrhoids occur in the veins under the skin around your anus. These hemorrhoids cause pain, itching, and skin irritation.
Though internal and external hemorrhoids may develop a blood clot, called thrombosis, the problem most often affects external hemorrhoids. A thrombosed hemorrhoid is painful and may start bleeding if it goes untreated.
Your treatment depends on the severity of your symptoms. You may relieve mild swelling, inflammation, and pain with home treatments such as topical hemorrhoid creams, soaking in a warm sitz bath, and eating high-fiber foods. The extra fiber softens stool and increases its bulk, which helps you avoid straining.
If your symptoms don’t improve within a week or they start to get worse, your doctor may recommend rubber band ligation. Hemorrhoid banding treats internal hemorrhoids by tying them at the base of the hemorrhoid with rubber bands. The rubber bands stop blood flow to the hemorrhoid, making it shrink and fall off.
Gateway Gastroenterology offers hemorrhoid banding services in-office that may be available same-day of your office appointment. A consultation is required prior to a banding procedure.
If your hemorrhoids persist despite conservative therapy or one of the minimally invasive procedures, your physician may recommend a hemorrhoidectomy, which is a surgery to remove the hemorrhoid.
If you develop symptoms associated with hemorrhoids, call Gateway Gastroenterology or request an appointment online today.