Hemorrhoids can best be described as large veins that are typically located in the lower part of the rectum and anus. Due to the increased amount of pressure put on them they tend to become swollen. External hemorrhoids are most notably located under the skin that surrounds the anus. Whenever they begin to swell you will definitely feel them and external hemorrhoids are known to cause pain and itching during bowel movements. You may also notice bleeding. If the blood within the vein begins to clot, this is known to cause extreme pain and is often referred to as thrombosed external hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids are most commonly associated with constipation and in particular with straining at bowel movements. Many pregnant women also suffer from hemorrhoids. The condition will, unfortunately, lead to far more pressure inside the hemorrhoidal veins which will eventually cause them to swell. Certain other conditions, such as chronic liver disease, have also been known to increase the pressure on these veins and may lead to hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are extremely common and it is estimated that up to 50% of people aged over 50 are likely to suffer from this condition.
For the majority of people the initial sign of hemorrhoids is bleeding that does not cause any pain. You may notice bright red blood, on the toilet paper, dripping into the toilet, or even on the outside of the stools. You should be aware that bleeding after bowel movements is not normal and you should always seek medical advice. It is important to realize that hemorrhoids may not be the only reason for bleeding and this may actually be an inflammatory bowel disease, an infection or even a tumor.
There are numerous ways to treat external hemorrhoids and these include:
For someone who is suffering with internal hemorrhoids, these can occasionally be pushed back gently into the anus. However, if you are suffering with thrombose external hemorrhoids, there is no way that these can be pushed back inside. The medical procedure to deal with external hemorrhoids will involve a local anaesthetic initially being placed under the skin that surrounds the hemorrhoids. A surgeon will then use a scalpel to cut into the area and the clot will be removed. You will typically find that the sharp pain will immediately disappear and you will feel instant relief. Often there may be a dull ache afterwards.
There are also certain forms of surgery to deal with hemorrhoids and these include sclerotherapy, which is where a chemical will be injected into the hemorrhoids thus causing it to scar. Haemorrhoidectomy is a specific surgical procedure whereby the complete hemorrhoid will be removed. This is the most aggressive form of surgery and the chances of your hemorrhoids returning will dramatically reduce. However, as with many forms of aggressive surgery there may be certain complications.
The most common form of treatment for external hemorrhoids will usually be a combination of warm sitz baths, drinking plenty of fluids, increasing the amount of roughage that you eat and taking over-the-counter pain relievers to cope with hemorrhoidal pain. You may also find that your health care provider may recommend certain stool softeners. However, after any form of hemorrhoid treatment should you suffer from rectal pain, bleeding, abdominal pain, fever or vomiting you should contact your doctor immediately.