About 5% of people have hemorrhoids that itch or cause minor rectal bleeding. Most hemorrhoids go away within a week of at-home care. However, if your hemorrhoids cause rectal bleeding or fail to improve within a week of care, schedule a visit with Mehrdad Saliminejad, MD, at ProDigest Gastroenterology & Hepatology Associates in Lakewood and Long Beach, California. Dr. Saliminejad specializes in diagnosing and treating gastrointestinal problems like hemorrhoids and ruling out other more serious concerns. Call the office closest to you or schedule an appointment online today.
Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are swollen blood vessels in the anus and lower rectum. Similar to varicose veins, hemorrhoids occur when there’s excess pressure on the blood vessels, causing them to enlarge.
You may develop hemorrhoids when there’s excess pressure on your belly or lower extremities from weight gain, pregnancy, pushing too hard during a bowel movement, or sitting for long periods of time on the toilet.
There are two primary types of hemorrhoids: internal and external.
Internal hemorrhoids form in the lower rectum. These types of hemorrhoids are usually painless, but they may bleed during a bowel movement.
Internal hemorrhoids may also prolapse, or protrude through the anus.
External hemorrhoids develop under the skin around the anus. These types of hemorrhoids may be itchy or painful. They may also form a blood clot, creating a thrombosed hemorrhoid, which causes severe pain.
You should schedule a visit with Dr. Saliminejad if you have symptomatic hemorrhoids that aren’t getting better with at-home care. He also recommends you schedule an appointment if you have rectal bleeding.
Even if you know your hemorrhoids are causing your rectal bleeding, you should never ignore this symptom. It’s possible your bleeding may be from a more serious gastrointestinal condition such as colon cancer.
Dr. Saliminejad takes a patient-centered approach to care and asks detailed questions about your symptoms, your at-home treatment plan, and your medical history. He also examines your hemorrhoids.
If he has any concerns that your rectal bleeding may be related to colon cancer, Dr. Saliminejad may recommend a colon cancer screening.
Dr. Saliminejad customizes your hemorrhoid treatment plan based on the severity of your symptoms.
Medical treatment for your hemorrhoids may include a high-fiber diet, stool softeners, use of over-the-counter hemorrhoid creams, and sitz baths.
If medical treatment fails, Dr. Saliminejad may talk to you about your treatment options. Rubber band ligation is the most common treatment for internal hemorrhoids.
During the procedure, Dr. Saliminejad places a rubber band around your hemorrhoid, cutting off the blood supply. The hemorrhoid shrinks and falls off in a few days.
He may also talk to you about laser or infrared coagulation and sclerotherapy. For severe hemorrhoids, Dr. Saliminejad may recommend surgery to remove the swollen vein.
For comprehensive care for your hemorrhoids, call ProDigest Gastroenterology & Hepatology Associates or schedule an appointment online today.