Based on statistics, about 10 million Americans suffer from hemorrhoids each year. Despite this figure, many people still have questions about hemorrhoids. Premier Surgical Hemorrhoid Treatment Center in Knoxville shares some of the most frequently asked questions about this condition:
Q: What are hemorrhoids?
A: Hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins around the anus or in the lower rectum. They can form under the skin around the anus (external hemorrhoids) or in the lining of the anus and lower rectum (internal hemorrhoids).
Q: What are the causes of hemorrhoids?
A: There are several factors that can contribute to the development of hemorrhoids. These include aging, pregnancy, heredity, chronic constipation, and even the overuse of laxatives or enemas.
Q: What are the signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids?
A: Some of the most common symptoms of hemorrhoids include itching around the anal area, an itchy or painful lump near the anus, painful bowel movements, rectal bleeding (blood on the tissue after bowel movement), and irritation and/or pain around the anus.
Q: Are there conditions that have similar symptoms with hemorrhoids?
A: There are. Conditions like anal fissure, warts, infection, and cancer can have similar symptoms with hemorrhoids. These include pain and irritation around the anal area.
Q: When should I see a doctor?
A: If you are experiencing the aforementioned symptoms, then you should see a hemorrhoid specialist for proper diagnosis. Aside from giving you a thorough physical assessment, the doctor can also provide you with the most suitable treatment option for your case.
Q: Are hemorrhoids a serious condition?
A: Hemorrhoids are rarely dangerous. The symptoms of mild cases may be temporarily relieved with over-the-counter creams, lifestyle changes – especially in the diet, and warm sitz baths. A simple medical procedure can also be an option if you are not experiencing symptom relief through these more conservative methods.
Q: If further treatment is needed, what are the options?
A: Infrared Coagulation (IFC) is the world’s leading office treatment for hemorrhoids. It involves using a small laser probe that exposes the vein above the hemorrhoid to short bursts of warm light, causing the hemorrhoid to shrink and recede. The procedure is less invasive than traditional hemorrhoid surgery options, taking only 15-30 minutes for treatment with little to no recovery time.
Dr. Stone Mitchell at Premier Surgical Hemorrhoid Treatment Center in Knoxville can help you choose the most suitable treatment option for your specific case. To schedule an appointment, visit the Hemorrhoid page of our website or call 865-588-9952.