Hemorrhoids are the most common anorectal problem. More than half of the population will develop symptomatic hemorrhoids at some point in their life. Hemorrhoids may clear up on their own with diet and lifestyle change, but treatment is sometimes needed. Hemorrhoids occur when the blood vessels in the anus become enlarged. This can occur on the outside of the anus, which causes itching, discomfort, bleeding, and pain, or on the inside, which is rarely painful, but can bleed.
There are various causes of hemorrhoids, including constipation, diarrhea, pregnancy, obesity, and standing or sitting for long periods of time. It is also possible for hemorrhoids to develop even if none of these issues is occurring. It is possible to prevent future outbreaks of hemorrhoids by avoiding straining in the bathroom, improving your digestive habits with diet changes, exercising, and drinking plenty of fluids.
There are several simple in-office treatments available for symptomatic hemorrhoids, including ligation, infrared coagulation, and banding. The treatments are generally well-tolerated and can be easily performed in the office. In some severe cases when hemorrhoids are very painful, bleeding continuously, large, or irreversible, surgery may be necessary.