Initial medical treatment of hemorrhoids is aimed at relieving symptoms. Measures to reduce symptoms include:
- Sitz baths—sitting in plain, warm water two to three times a day for about 10 minutes each time
- Ice packs—putting cold packs on the anus for short durations to relieve pain and swelling
- Medication—applying hemorrhoidal creams or suppositories to the affected area
- High-fiber diet—Eating more whole fresh fruit, raw, or cooked vegetables, and whole grains has been consistently shown to reduce symptoms of hemorrhoids, including bleeding. Also, if you enjoy spicy foods, you can continue eating them. Studies have shown that they do not worsen hemorrhoidal symptoms.
- Fluids—drinking six to eight, 8-ounce glasses of nonalcoholic fluids daily to soften stools
If these treatments provide insufficient relief, one of several nonsurgical procedures may be used to shrink or destroy the hemorrhoidal tissue. These procedures, which are generally performed in a doctor’s office, include:
- Rubber band ligation —a rubber band placed around the base of the hemorrhoid to cut off circulation and force the hemorrhoid to wither away within a few days
- Sclerotherapy—a chemical solution is injected near the blood vessel to cause scarring and shrinkage of the hemorrhoid
- Coagulation therapy—the use of electricity (direct current electrotherapy), laser, or infrared light (photocoagulation) to shrink the hemorrhoidal tissue
If nonsurgical procedures are either not an option or fail to resolve the problem, surgical management is the final option:
- Hemorrhoidectomy —This surgery involves permanent removal of hemorrhoids by cutting the hemorrhoidal tissue away. Some of the newest surgical treatments involve using stainless steel staples. While favored by many surgeons, there is some evidence that more traditional techniques produce more consistent and long-lasting relief.
If you are diagnosed with hemorrhoids, follow your doctor's instructions .
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2021 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.