WHAT IS A HEMORRHOID?
Hemorrhoids are actually a normal part of the anal anatomy found in all patients. They provide important sensory information that allows us to differentiate between gas, liquid, and solid stool. They are comprised of arteries, veins, capillaries, connective tissue, and nerve tissue. They can be covered with the lining of the rectum (rectal mucosa) if they are internal, or the anal skin (anoderm) if they are external.
All patients have hemorrhoids. When someone says "I have hemorrhoids", what he or she actually means is, "I have problem hemorrhoids". Common symptoms of internal hemorrhoids are painless bleeding, mucous drainage, irritation, itching, and protrusion. It is important to realize that most patients attribute any anorectal symptom to "hemorrhoids". While hemorrhoids are common; bleeding, pain, irritation, and drainage can often be caused by a wide variety of diagnoses. Anal fissure, anal fistula, rectal prolapse, fecal incontinence, polyps, and even anal or colorectal cancer can present with identical symptoms. It is important to be evaluated by a qualified physician when any of these symptoms arise.
INTERNAL VS. EXTERNAL HEMORRHOIDS
Internal hemorrhoids can usually be treated in the office with minimally invasive techniques such as rubber band ligation or sclerosis. These techniques cause little to no discomfort and allow for resumption of normal activity the very same day.
External hemorrhoids can cause swelling, pain, itching, irritation, bleeding, and difficulty with hygiene. They can also usually be treated conservatively in the office. They will occasionally require removal. This is typically performed in the office under a local anesthetic, but will sometimes need to be done in the operating room as an outpatient (same-day surgery). Most patients with hemorrhoids will not require surgery, but even those that do can expect a complete recovery with the resumption of all normal activities and habits.
We are proud to be one of only a handful of clinics that offer a full range of surgical and non-surgical options to treat the entire spectrum of problems that can affect pelvic floor, colon, and rectum.
300 S. Nolen, Suite 100
Southlake, Texas 76092
Baylor Medical Center at Grapevine
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