Haemorrhoids, Anal Tears & Fissures Treatments
Haemorrhoids are usually an inconvenience that can be treated at home and will usually resolve themselves after a few days. There are some methods to help prevent or relieve the symptoms of haemorrhoids such a avoiding constipation or over-the-counter creams and ointments. For more troublesome symptoms there are various non surgical methods that have proven effective and are less painful than traditional surgeries.
Lifestyle and Diet Changes
Being constipated can cause haemorrhoids and irritate them further. It is important to be eating a healthy diet, which includes plenty of fibre and drink plenty of fluids to keep bowel motions soft and regular. Many people will find that by making small changes to their diet and drinking habits, their haemorrhoids will disappear without the need for further treatment. Click to read more on lifestyle and diet.
If your haemorrhoids are caused by constipation, over-the-counter laxatives can be used in the short term to help. There are a variety of laxatives available that act in different ways. You can get bulking laxatives such as Fybogel, which work in the same way as increasing fibre in the diet; osmotic laxatives, which work by softening the stool making it easier to pass, and stimulant laxatives such as senna, which encourages peristalsis and stimulates the gut to pass the stool. Make sure that you speak to your local pharmacist or GP about which type of laxative is best for you.
Creams, Ointments and Suppositories
There are many over-the-counter creams, ointments and suppositories that you can buy to help relieve the discomfort and itching of haemorrhoids. Your pharmacist will be able to advise on a suitable treatment to try at home. Some of the topical treatments can also promote tightening to shrink the vessel.
Sclerotherapy involves injecting a solution into the haemorrhoid, which will cut off the blood supply and eventually force the haemorrhoid to shrivel up and disappear.
Banding involves putting a very tight elastic band around the base of the haemorrhoid to cut off the blood supply. After a week or so, the haemorrhoid should drop off. You will probably not notice this as it will likely happen with a bowel movement.
Infrared Coagulation/ Laser Treatment
This treatment uses infrared light or a laser beam to painlessly burn and seal the haemorrhoid cutting off the blood supply to the vessel. This method is most useful for prolapsed haemorrhoids.
If your haemorrhoids are very severe, painful and the bleeding is causing an issue then you may be offered surgery to remove them. A haemorrhoidectomy is the traditional method of removing haemorrhoids, which involves cutting open the anus. This operation is done under general anaesthetic and can be quite painful to recover from.
A stapled haemorrhoidopexy is sometimes used as an alternative to a haemorrhoidectomy. This operation involves stapling part of the anorectum to reduce the blood supply and eventually cause them to shrink. This operation does carry more complications than a traditional haemorrhoidectomy but the recovery the time is quicker.
Haemorrhoidal Artery Ligation
This is an operation done under general anaesthetic to reduce the supply to the haemorrhoids. It involves inserting a small ultrasound probe that emits high frequency waves that allows the surgeon to locate the blood vessels.
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