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Healthcare: Gastroenterology & Digestive Health

Hemorrhoids

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About Hemorrhoids

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Hemorrhoids are a common condition caused when blood vessels or veins around the anus and rectum become swollen, leading to symptoms such as bleeding, irritation, or pain. Factors contributing to hemorrhoids include excessive straining due to constipation, sitting too long in the bathroom, pregnancy, obesity, or liver disease.

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What Are the Symptoms of Hemorrhoids?

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The most common symptoms of both internal and external hemorrhoids are bleeding during bowel movements, itching, and rectal pain.

Rectal bleeding and pain and recent changes in bowel habits are also symptoms of colon, rectal, and anal cancer. If you have these symptoms, talk to your physician, especially if you are age 50 or older or have a family history of colon cancer.

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How Are Hemorrhoids Treated?

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For most external hemorrhoids, home treatment is all you need. This include slowly adding fiber to your meals, drinking more water, and applying hemorrhoidal ointments using suppositories to relive symptoms.

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What is IRC Treatment for Hemorrhoids?

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In this procedure, an infrared light is directed on the hemorrhoids causing them to clot and shrink, relieving your symptoms. IRC is performed during a regular office visit and does not require sedation. The procedure typically takes about 10 minutes. Many patients return to work right after the treatment session.

IRC treatment is available to patients with minor to moderate hemorrhoids and painless rectal bleeding. Most patients require about three treatments to completely treat their symptoms.

Other advanced treatment options available through Baylor Medicine Gastroenterology include applying rubber bands through state-of-the-art endoscopy equipment to cut off the blood flow to the hemorrhoid, causing it to die and fall off, or as a last resort, surgery to cut out the hemorrhoids, usually under general anesthesia.