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This article was published on July 16, 2012, and was last updated on May 1st, 2019 in Hemorrhoid Banding.
Hemorrhoids are a fact of life for millions of people every year, and they can be quite painful. Thankfully, there are many different hemorrhoid treatments that are available and the success rate for treatment is quite high. Hemorrhoid sufferers have many options when it comes to selecting the type of treatment that is right for them.
Topical Creams – Hemorrhoid creams are very helpful for handling the rare but painful occurrence of hemorrhoids. These creams contain ingredients that help reduce the swelling of the hemorrhoid itself, as well as treating the symptoms of burning, itching and pain. There are numerous different kinds of creams that are available and most can be purchased without a prescription.
Outpatient Office Based Treatments – There are several forms of outpatient procedures that are available, and which may be beneficial in treating hemorrhoids. Infrared Coagulation (IRC) is becoming very popular and has a high success rate with smaller, less severe hemorrhoids. These treatments are relatively painless and bloodless and the patient can typically return to work or home soon after the procedure.
Another procedure includes placing a small rubber band around the hemorrhoid itself. This treatment can be utilized in the treatment of most stages of hemorrhoids, and functions by cutting off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid, shrinking it until it falls off naturally. This procedure is also virtually painless, and well tolerated by the patients that it is performed on.
Surgical Removal – These treatments are more involved, and need only be used in the most severe cases. There are also several surgical techniques, including the typical surgical hemorrhoidectomy, which are available. There have been newer procedures developed in an attempt to lessen the pain and disability of this procedure, and these procedures include the ‘PPH”, where a stapling device is used to cut across the vessels feeding the hemorrhoids. Other procedures involve the use of lasers and the “Harmonic Scalpel”, which uses sound waves in order to cut away the hemorrhoidal tissue. Each of these procedures must be performed by a qualified surgeon, and each has its relative advantages and disadvantages. Consult with your doctor to discuss these options if surgical removal of your hemorrhoids is recommended.
Although hemorrhoids are very common, they may also be a sign that there is a more serious underlying condition. If you have experienced reoccurring bouts with hemorrhoids or of any gastrointestinal condition, you may want to consult with your doctor to see if you should have a colon cancer screening, or a colonoscopy. Adults over the age of 50 should be getting one at least every ten years, unless they have a family history of the disease. In that case, more frequent scans may be necessary, and they may well need to be started at an earlier age.