Thomas Ho SURGERY
From diagnosis to treatment, this is what you need to know
Haemorrhoids – or piles –may present as lumps around or within your anus. This is not a condition to be ignored as it has been known to result in severe anaemia from persistent rectal bleeding. If you are suffering from haemorrhoids, it is important for you to read on and understand the symptoms, the severity and possible treatment plans. In case of any emergencies, you should not hesitate to visit your nearest doctor or call us to arrange for a consultation.
Haemorrhoids occur when blood vessels around the anus and lower rectum become dilated and engorged. This usually arise from built up pressures within the pelvis that impede venous blood flow towards the heart. A common predisposing factor is chronic constipation such that prolonged time spent on the toilet bowl and straining to open bowels lead to such increased pressures over time.
Given the prevalence of this disease amongst the young and old, haemorrhoids can be considered a lifestyle disease. This is especially as our society moves towards a sedentary lifestyle with decreased fibre intake in our diets. For some, this is made worse by adopting poor habits such as putting off the urge to move the bowel or spending prolonged periods in the toilet reading or being glued to their mobile devices.
Family history is also a major factor for developing haemorrhoids. Those with family members who suffer from haemorrhoids are also at greater risk of developing the same at an earlier age.
The symptoms for haemorrhoids are varied and include:
If you experience any of these symptoms, it may be prudent to consult a doctor.
Patients should not assume that all rectal bleeding are caused by haemorrhoids even though they may be common.It is the duty of your doctor to rule out more sinister conditions such as colorectal or anal cancers. Lumps around the anus can also be the result of viral warts. Hence anyone with bleeding from the anus or anal lumps should seek help sooner rather than later.Book an appointment with Thomas Ho Surgery for a timely consultation and physical examination
External haemorrhoids are most often felt as bulges or lumps at the anus and tend to be persistently present without much discomfort. When thrombosis occurs or blood clots form within them (‘perianal hematoma’), the pain can be very acute and severe. The haemorrhoid becomes a dark, hard lump and extremely sensitive to touch. When this happens, patients often report emergently to the doctor with intolerable pain on sitting and walking.
Internal haemorrhoids, conversely, are hidden within the anus especially when the size remainssmall. Patients tend to experience painless bleeding during bowel movement as the only symptom. When internal haemorrhoids enlarge, they typically descend during bowel movement resulting in discomfort. Patients instinctively attempt to push them back in when cleaning themselves. When the piles enlarge further and are unable to be pushed back in, they may become prolapsed and swollen. This again results in intolerable pain and swelling that requires immediate attention by the doctor.
Beyond medication and rubber band ligation, surgery offers a more definitive treatment option. The most common procedure is conventional haemorrhoidectomy, where the piles are surgically removed using diathermy or advanced bipolar device (less pain).
Another technique is stapled hemorrhoidectomy which acts like a ‘nip and tuck’ procedure. The haemorrhoids are removed through the firing of a stapling device which simultaneously draws excess mucosa upwards to counteract the prolapse.