Piles (Hemorrhoids) are lumps inside and around your bottom (anus). They often get better on their own after a few days. There are things you can do to treat and prevent piles.
Hospital treatment for piles
If there’s no improvement to your piles after home treatments, you may need hospital treatment.
Talk to your doctor about the best treatment for you. Treatment does not always prevent piles coming back.
Treatment without surgery
Common hospital treatments include:
- rubber band ligation: a band is placed around your piles to make them drop off
- sclerotherapy: a liquid is injected into your piles to make them shrink
- electrotherapy: a gentle electric current is applied to your piles to make them shrink
- infrared coagulation: an infrared light is used to cut the blood supply to your piles to make them shrink
You’ll be awake for this type of treatment, but the area will be numbed.
You should be able to go home on the same day.
If these treatments do not work, you may need surgery to remove your piles.
Surgical treatments include:
- Haemorrhoidectomy: your piles are cut out
- stapled haemorrhoidopexy: your piles are stapled back inside your anus
- Haemorrhoidal artery ligation: stitches are used to cut the blood supply to your piles to make them shrink
You’ll usually need to be asleep for this type of treatment and may need to stay in hospital for more than 1 day.
Symptoms of piles
Piles don’t always cause pain or other symptoms, but if you do have symptoms, they might include:
- bleeding when you have a bowel movement – you may see blood (usually bright red) on toilet paper or drips in the toilet or on the surface of your poo
- a lump in or around your anus
- a slimy discharge of mucus from your anus
- a feeling of ‘fullness’ and discomfort in your anus, or a feeling that your bowels haven’t completely emptied after going to the toilet
- itchy or sore skin around your anus
- pain and discomfort after you go to the toilet
These symptoms can vary a lot between individuals. They may also be caused by problems other than piles, such as inflammatory bowel disease, anal cancer, bowel cancer and an anal fissure (tear). So if you have any of these symptoms, contact your GP for advice – don’t just assume they’re being caused by piles.
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