Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels that occur inside or outside the rectum. While internal hemorrhoids may not present symptoms other than painless bleeding after a bowel movement, external hemorrhoids can become itchy and inflamed. Flareups of either kind usually resolve within two weeks with home treatments. But some cases require surgery to relieve symptoms.
Some types of surgery can be completed in a physician’s office and require no anesthesia. Other surgeries are done as hospital outpatient procedures where the patient receives general, regional or local anesthesia. Examples include:
Used to treat internal hemorrhoids, this in-office procedure involves putting a tight band around the base of the hemorrhoid, cutting off the blood supply. Two or more procedures completed a couple of months apart are usually required.
Another in-office sclerotherapy involves the physician injecting a chemical into the hemorrhoid, causing it to shrink and stop bleeding.
This treatment done in the doctor’s office uses infrared light, heat or extreme cold to make the hemorrhoid retract and shrink.
A hemorrhoidectomy involves cutting a large external hemorrhoid or internal hemorrhoid that has prolapsed (protrudes from the rectum). The procedure is done in the hospital under anesthesia.
Sometimes referred to as stapling, this outpatient hospital procedure treats prolapsed hemorrhoids. The hemorrhoid is stapled back into place inside the rectum, cutting off the blood supply so the tissue shrinks.
Rectal pain is a common side effect from hemorrhoid surgery. You can assist in your recovery by eating a high-fiber diet, staying hydrated and using a stool softener to avoid straining during bowel movements. You can expect a full recovery usually within 10 to 14 days.
Only a small percentage of people who suffer from hemorrhoids require surgical intervention. If home treatments have failed, your physician may recommend surgery to relieve your discomfort.