It can be embarrassing to talk about problems like hemorrhoids. But this common issue, also referred to as “piles,” affects approximately half of all adults by the time they turn 50.
As a seasoned physician and surgeon at South Shore Surgical, Dr. Ira Klonsky can identify issues like hemorrhoids that affect your anus and lower rectum. Here’s what you need to know about this troublesome condition and how to find the best solutions based on your symptoms.
How hemorrhoids work
Everyone has clusters of veins just beneath the mucous membranes lining their anus and the lowest part of their rectum. You develop hemorrhoids when these veins become swollen and distended.
Several factors can lead to hemorrhoids, including:
- Being obese or pregnant
- Spending long periods sitting on the toilet
- Experiencing chronic constipation or diarrhea
- Straining while having a bowel movement
- Consuming a low-fiber diet
- Lifting heavy objects on a regular basis
- Engaging in anal intercourse.
When you have hemorrhoids, you can experience a variety of symptoms in your anal region, ranging from itching, pain, or discomfort to swelling, lumps, and bleeding. These symptoms often vary depending on the location of the hemorrhoid.
Types of hemorrhoids
You can develop two different kinds of hemorrhoids: internal and external.
Internal hemorrhoids form inside your lower rectum. These swollen veins are usually painless, but they can produce bright-red blood and cause several problems, including prolapse that extends beyond the anus.
These swollen veins occur below the skin surrounding your anus. External hemorrhoids are usually more uncomfortable because skin in the area can become irritated. It’s also possible for these veins to develop blood clots, which form a lump around the anus.
Dr. Klonsky can usually diagnose internal and external hemorrhoids during a physical exam, which often includes a visual and digital inspection of the area. In some cases, he might also recommend a colonoscopy to look for other digestive issues, or if you have a greater risk of colorectal cancer.
After diagnosing your hemorrhoids, Dr. Klonsky works closely with you to develop a personalized treatment strategy to help manage your condition. This might include a combination of approaches, including:
- Dietary changes
- Topical treatments, like ointments, creams, suppositories, or pads
- Over-the-counter pain relievers, like aspirin or ibuprofen
For more persistent or severe hemorrhoids, Dr. Klonsky might recommend minimally invasive procedures, like rubber band ligation, sclerotherapy, or coagulation. Many of these techniques don’t require anesthesia and can occur during an office visit.
In rare cases, Dr. Klonsky could suggest surgery to address large hemorrhoids or those that haven’t responded to conservative treatments.
For more information on hemorrhoids and what we can do to lessen your discomfort, contact our office in Valley Stream, New York, today. You can also call us at 516-200-1318, or send a message to Dr. Klonsky and the team here on our website.