Swollen veins located deep in the rectum are termed as internal hemorrhoids. They cannot be felt with a finger and are also painless. Rectal bleeding is an indication for the presence of internal hemorrhoids. In the presence of aggravating factors such as constipation or pregnancy, they enlarge further and prolapse in to the anal canal. Severe prolapse may cause the hemorrhoids to protrude out of the anal canal. Depending on the extent of prolapse hemorrhoids are categorized in to four stages. Hence, before initiating the internal hemorrhoid treatment it is essential to know the stage of hemorrhoid and use a treatment regime accordingly.
Internal hemorrhoid treatment
Rectal bleeding can also be a sign for other diseases such as colon cancer and polyps. Hence, the physician will do a thorough anal canal examination to identify the cause of bleeding. Upon confirming the presence of internal hemorrhoids, the physician will recommend a treatment plan depending on the size of the hemorrhoid.
Outpatient medical procedures for internal hemorrhoid treatment
Stage I, II and III hemorrhoids can be treated with certain medical procedures without the risk of complications.
- Rubber band ligation: In this procedure the base of the hemorrhoid tissue is tied with a band to cut off blood supply to the tissue. The tissue dries and falls off.
- Sclerotherapy: A chemical is injected in to the swollen tissue to shrink the tissue and get rid of it. This is mostly used for small sized hemorrhoids.
- Infrared or laser coagulation: In this method heat generated by the infrared or laser rays is used to coagulate or vaporize the swollen tissue. Coagulation gives effective results but is expensive compared to other procedures.
Inpatient surgical procedures
Hemorrhoids that do not heal with non surgical procedures or that keep recurring are treated by performing a surgery -hemorrhoidectomy. Stage IV internal hemorrhoids showing thrombosis and strangulation can be treated only by hemorrhoidectomy.
Surgery is performed using the regular surgical tools or by sophisticated stapled hemorrhoidectomy. In stapled hemorrhoidectomy the tissue is stapled and is less painful compared to the regular surgical procedure. Patients can resume to daily routine after ten days of performing the surgery. To prevent complications such as bleeding, it is very important for the patients to follow post operative measures such as taking fiber rich diet and avoiding lifting weights.
Home remedies for internal hemorrhoids treatment
Relief can be obtained from stage I and II internal hemorrhoids through simple home remedies. These remedies also help to prevent further formation of new hemorrhoids.
- Sitz bath: Sit in warm water for about fifteen to twenty minutes immediately after emptying the bowels to reduce pain and inflammation. Repeat it for three to four times a day for better results. After soaking in warm water dry the buttocks gently without wiping hard. Addition of Epsom salt to the warm water helps to cleanse as well as soothe the irritated skin.
- Practice exercises: If you cannot practice strenuous exercises walk at least for 20-25 minutes a day to stimulate the bowel movements.
- Follow healthy dietary habits: Take healthy diet rich in fiber to increase the bulk of stools. Bioflavonoid containing foods help to reduce anal discomfort, swelling and also strengthen the blood vessels reducing the risk of bleeding. Drink more water to avoid constipation and soften the stools. Soft stools pass out of anus easily without straining.
- Use ice packs: Place ice packs in the affected region to numb the area and reduce pain temporarily. It also helps to reduce the swelling.
- Take pain relievers: Acetaminophen or non steroid anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin should be used to reduce pain and swelling.
- Take care of clothing: Use cotton clothing and use pads if mucous oozes from the anus. Avoid moisture build-up in the anal region as it causes itching.
- Avoid sitting or standing for long hours. Use donut shaped cushions for sitting to reduce pressure on the anus.
- Hemorrhoid patients suffering with other diseases such as diabetes and heart diseases should be very careful while choosing the internal hemorrhoids treatment plan to avoid side effects. They should not use medications without consulting the physician.