Is there anything worse than a hemorrhoid? The swollen bumps located in and around the rectum can cause a lot of discomfort such as pain and itching. Though you might try treating the problem at home with some basic remedies, you may need to speak to a doctor, too. A hemorrhoid specialist in Palm Beach County can both diagnose the condition and help you treat it.
Diagnosing Your Problem
The easiest way to diagnose your problem is with a visual inspection. This is a common option for external problems that the doctor can see and internal ones that are too soft to feel with a simple touch. During the visual inspection, the doctor will ask you to lower your pants and wear a gown to feel comfortable. The doctor can also perform this procedure with an anoscope that allows them to get inside the rectum. Doctors may use other tools as well, including a proctoscope.
A digital examination also allows a hemorrhoid specialist in Palm Beach County to diagnose your condition. This also requires that you wear a gown and get into a comfortable position. The doctor will then slip on a glove and use a lubricant to reduce the discomfort that you feel during the procedure. Inserting a finger into your rectum allows the doctor to feel for anything unusual.
A doctor for hemorrhoids may recommend that you try some home remedies before looking at surgical options. You can try many of these remedies if the condition persists or comes back later. Both witch hazel and aloe vera are popular treatment options. You can apply witch hazel by hand or with a cotton swab as it relieves some of your pain and can help with swelling. Several companies make wipes that use witch hazel, too.
Aloe vera comes in different forms, including gels and lotions. Always make sure that the product uses pure aloe vera and not any artificial scents or colors that can irritate your skin. You’ll also want to test the product on a small area of your skin first to make sure that you don’t have an allergic reaction.
If you find that you have a problem because you have issues passing stool, consider using a stool softener. Stool softeners help with constipation and soften the stool, which makes it easier to pass. In addition to traditional pills, these products come in powders that you can mix with water to drink or with food to eat. Before recommending surgical options for hemorrhoids, your doctor may suggest that you make changes to your diet, including the amount of fiber that you consume.
Signs and Symptoms
Before you seek hemorrhoids treatment, you’ll likely experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Pain and/or discomfort around the anus
- Itching on or close to the anus
- Blood when you wipe
- Inflammation that makes sitting difficult
These are the signs of an external problem. You might find that you can feel the inflammation when you wipe or when you strain to have a bowel movement. Internal problems are more serious because you may not notice any symptoms. The most common sign of a problem is blood on your toilet paper. Though you might not have any pain during a bowel movement, you’ll still see some signs of bleeding or spotting.
If you tried home remedies and other treatments and did not experience any relief, it’s time to consider hemorrhoid surgery. Also called a hemorrhoidectomy, it includes some type of anesthesia. The doctor can give you general anesthesia that puts you to sleep until the procedure is over. With local anesthesia, you’ll feel relaxed and numb through the procedure. Though you remain awake, you will not feel anything that the doctor does. During hemorrhoid surgery, the doctor will find and identify the areas of inflamed skin. The doctor makes small cuts around those areas and then removes the skin. You’ll often receive stitches that keep the area protected until you heal.
What to Expect Before and After Surgery
On the day of your hemorrhoid surgery, the surgeon will ask you to arrive before your appointment to fill out paperwork and get ready. You’ll need to change out of your street clothes and into a hospital gown. Once you receive anesthesia, the doctor will give it some time to take effect and make sure that you are either asleep or cannot feel anything. No matter which procedure you choose, it should only take a few hours or less. Though this is an outpatient procedure, you may feel too weak and tired to drive yourself home. You either need to bring someone with you or have someone who can take you home.
The hemorrhoid specialist will schedule an appointment to follow up with you and make sure that you heal properly. Though you’ll get stitches, they should dissolve and go away on their own. You’ll want to relax for at least the next 24 hours, and you may want to take time off work to recover. If you have discomfort when sitting, you can try lying down or using a special pillow that takes the pressure off the anus and rectum.
Other surgical options for hemorrhoids involve the use of lasers. This is popular among those who want to take less time off work because it allows them to heal faster. Another option is banding, which is when the doctor places a band around the base. This cuts off the flow of blood to the hemorrhoid and causes it to slowly die. You’ll typically need to see the doctor several times and have multiple bands applied for the procedure to work.
If you have an internal hemorrhoid or multiple and feel a lot of pain, a doctor for hemorrhoids might suggest sclerotherapy. This uses a type of chemical that the doctor injects into the inflamed area. It usually only takes one injection, but some patients may require multiple injections. Doctors often choose this treatment for those on blood thinners because it does not require cutting the skin, which can lead to excessive bleeding.
Your doctor can also suggest a procedure that uses light as a hemorrhoid treatment. With this procedure, the doctor will insert an anoscope into your rectum and use it to direct a bright UV light. It can treat more than one hemorrhoid and doesn’t cause much discomfort, but you will need anesthesia for it.
Treat Your Hemorrhoids
The inflamed and itchy skin that you feel around your rectum and anus can leave you looking for anything that will bring you relief. Getting the help that you need is as easy as setting up an appointment with Advanced Surgical Physicians. Your first appointment lets the doctor do a physical examination and determine the severity of your condition. This allows you to pick the right treatment option to get the relief that you need. Call us today to reach a top specialist in Palm Beach County.