Hemorrhoid Treatment in Los Angeles, CA
Do you suffer from anal pain, itching, or irritation? Is constipation, obesity, pregnancy, or too much sitting causing these symptoms? You may have hemorrhoids, the painful swelling of veins in or near your anal area.
Straining in the bathroom or increased pressure on those veins during pregnancy usually causes hemorrhoids, though they sometimes occur without a clear cause. When the walls of these blood vessels stretch too far, they can bulge and become irritated. This causes rectal pain, especially during evacuation.
Hemorrhoids are very common and usually don’t cause complications, but more serious symptoms can worsen your pain and require medical attention. Rectal bleeding can also be a symptom of serious diseases like colorectal or anal cancer. If you suffer from hemorrhoids, a specialist can help reduce or eliminate your pain. To speak with a hemorrhoid specialist in Los Angeles, call us today at (424) 365-1800 or contact Vitality Integrative Medicine online.
What Are the Symptoms of Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids may be painless, or they may cause painful symptoms. They usually cause physical symptoms, including:
- bleeding: you might experience bleeding during bowel movements; right red blood might be visible in your toilet or on your toilet tissue
- anal itching, pain, and irritation
- swelling in the anal or rectal area
There are different types of hemorrhoids:
This type occurs inside the rectum, while external hemorrhoids develop under the skin around the outside of the anus. They don’t usually cause pain.
Straining in the bathroom can damage the surface and cause them to bleed. Rarely, straining can push an internal hemorrhoid through the anal opening. This is known as a protruding or prolapsed hemorrhoid and can cause irritation and pain.
These occur under the anal skin. When they get irritated, they itch, bleed, and cause pain.
When blood pools inside external hemorrhoids, clots can form and cause severe pain, swelling, inflammation, and hard lumps near your anus. This type of hemorrhoid may require medical attention if pain or inflammation intensify.
Hemorrhoids and rectal bleeding
While bleeding during bowel movements is the most common symptom of hemorrhoids, other medical conditions can cause this symptom. If bleeding occurs often, or if you notice changes in your bowel movements or color, contact your doctor. Rectal bleeding can be a symptom of colorectal and anal cancer. An examination can diagnose or rule out more serious medical conditions.
What Causes Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are usually caused by pregnancy or by straining on the toilet. When a woman is pregnant, the added pressure can cause bulging in rectal veins, resulting in hemorrhoids. Straining in the bathroom stretches your anal veins, leading to bulging and swelling. Hemorrhoids are more common in older people because the tissues support these veins weakens, making them stretch under less pressure.
How Are Hemorrhoids Diagnosed?
First your doctor will perform a simple visual exam – as external and thrombosed hemorrhoids are generally easy to spot – then other examinations based on your condition:
- digital examination: your doctor inserts a lubricated finger into your rectum to identify anything unusual and decide whether further testing is needed
- endoscopic examination: internal hemorrhoids are often too soft to feel digitally, so your doctor may use an anoscope, proctoscope, or sigmoidoscope – thin, flexible camera devices
If your symptoms suggest a condition more serious than hemorrhoids, your doctor may want to do a colonoscopy. This examination is a type of endoscopy that uses a long, flexible tube to capture visual images of your colon’s interior. Your age, health, medical history, and risk for colorectal cancer affect your doctor’s decision about whether or not to perform a colonoscopy.
How Are Hemorrhoids Treated?
There are many ways of treating hemorrhoids. Home remedies, minimally invasive procedures, surgery, and lifestyle changes can help reduce or relieve your pain.
You can often get relief from these home remedies:
- high-fiber foods: fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, fiber supplements like Metamucil, Citrucel, and Fiber Con add bulk to your bowel and can help reduce straining
- fluids: 6-8 glasses of water per day keeps your body hydrated decreasing anal strain
- exercise: daily aerobic exercise helps stimulate your bowels, leading to easier bowel movements and less anal strain
- topical medications: over-the-counter creams or suppositories contain hydrocortisone; pads can contain witch hazel or a numbing agent; don’t use steroid creams for longer than a week unless instructed by your doctor
- warm water: sitting in a warm —but not hot— tub of water for 15 minutes three times a day
- sitz bath: fits over the toilet to soak the affected area in warm water three times a day
- moist towelettes: dry toilet paper can further irritate hemorrhoids, so use moist towelettes or wet toilet paper without perfume or alcohol
- apply cold: ice packs or cold compresses can help relieve swelling
- oral pain relievers: over-the-counter acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen can help relieve discomfort
External hemorrhoid thrombectomy
If a painful blood clot (thrombosis) has formed, your doctor can make a simple incision and drain it. This procedure offers fast pain relief and is best done within 72 hours of developing a clot.
Minimally invasive procedures
For more persistent or severely painful hemorrhoids, you may undergo a minimally invasive procedure in your doctor’s office or outpatient setting that typically don’t require anesthesia.
- rubber band ligation: your doctor places tiny rubber bands around the internal hemorrhoid to cut off blood circulation and hemorrhoids fall off within a week
- injection (sclerotherapy): your doctor injects a solution to shrink the hemorrhoids; though not painful, this treatment isn’t as effective as rubber band ligation
- coagulation (infrared, laser, bipolar): laser or infrared light or heat makes small internal hemorrhoids harden and shrivel with few side effects or pain; associated with a higher recurrence
If previous procedures haven’t given you relief, or if you have very large hemorrhoids, your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure. These include:
- hemorrhoid removal (hemorrhoidectomy): under local, spinal anesthetic, or general anesthesia the surgeon removes excessive tissue that causes bleeding
- hemorrhoid stapling (stapled hemorrhoidectomy): blocks blood flow to internal hemorrhoids; results in less pain and downtime than traditional hemorrhoidectomy
What Are the Side Effects of Hemorrhoid Procedures?
Home remedies generally present no risk of side effects. Speak with your doctor if any do occur. Get your doctor’s approval before using steroid creams for longer than a week.
Hemorrhoid surgery can carry the risk of side effects or complications. Hemorrhoidectomy can cause complications, including difficulty urinating, urinary tract infections, and pain after the procedure.
Hemorrhoid stapling is associated with a greater risk of recurrence and rectal prolapse (part of the rectum protruding from the anus). Bleeding, urinary retention, and post-surgery pain can also occur. Very rarely, a potentially fatal infection (sepsis) can occur.
Reserve Your Appointment Today
Hemorrhoids can cause excruciating pain, bleeding, and itching. Home remedies may help reduce or relieve your symptoms, but certain types of hemorrhoids, especially large hemorrhoids, can cause intolerable pain or health complications.
A hemorrhoid specialist can help relieve your hemorrhoid pain. A wide variety of treatment options are available, so speak with a hemorrhoid specialist in Los Angeles today, call (424) 365-1800 or contact Vitality Integrative Medicine online.
Vitality Integrative Medicine
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