Internal hemorrhoids are a common cause of painless rectal bleeding with bowel movements. They can also prolapse within the anal canal, reducing the snugness of the anal canal. This can lead to persistent anal itching, pruritus ani, perianal moisture, and some soilage. On rare occasions, internal hemorrhoids can be the cause of anal pain and discomfort.
Hemorrhoids are typically classified into two types: internal and external. Although everyone is born with internal hemorrhoids, in some individuals, the connective tissue around the hemorrhoids can lose its integrity over time. This is usually the result of increased abdominal pressure from activities such as straining, weight lifting and chronic or severe cough. Unfortunately, once the internal hemorrhoids enlarge, they easily become engorged and have a tendency to cause recurrent symptoms. Medications and behavioral modifications can help these symptoms but more definitive and long-term relief is best provided under the care of an experienced proctologist.
Internal hemorrhoids are typically less painful than external hemorrhoids, but they can still cause a great deal of discomfort.
Symptoms of Internal Hemorrhoids
Symptoms of internal hemorrhoids include rectal bleeding, itching, and discomfort. The bleeding is typically bright red and can be quite heavy. The itching and discomfort may be caused by the hemorrhoids rubbing against the rectal walls. In some cases, the hemorrhoids may also prolapse, or fall out of the anus. This can be quite painful and uncomfortable.
Causes of Internal Hemorrhoids
Internal hemorrhoids can be caused by a variety of factors, including chronic constipation, diarrhea, straining during bowel movements, and pregnancy. They can also be caused by other chronic conditions such as obesity and heart disease. Hemorrhoids are also more common in people who are over the age of 50.
Diagnosis of Internal Hemorrhoids
Diagnosis of internal hemorrhoids is typically done by a proctologist. The proctologist will perform a physical examination of the rectal and anal area, and may also perform a digital rectal examination. In some cases, a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy may be needed to confirm the diagnosis.
Internal Hemorrhoids: Treatment & Recovery
Treatment of internal hemorrhoids typically begins with lifestyle changes such as eating a high-fiber diet and drinking plenty of water. Over-the-counter medications such as creams and ointments can also be used to relieve the symptoms. In more severe cases, a procedure such as rubber band ligation or infrared coagulation may be needed to shrink the hemorrhoids.
In cases where the hemorrhoids are particularly severe, surgery may be needed to remove them. The most common surgery for internal hemorrhoids and external hemorrhoids is known as a hemorrhoidectomy. This procedure involves the removal of the hemorrhoids and the surrounding tissue.
Recovery from internal hemorrhoids can vary depending on the severity of the condition and the treatment that was used. In most cases, recovery is relatively quick and patients can return to their normal activities within a few days. However, in some cases, recovery may take longer, and patients may need to take time off work or other activities.
Cost of Internal Hemorrhoids Treatment
The cost of treatment of internal hemorrhoids can vary depending on the treatment that is needed. In most cases, the cost is covered by insurance, but patients may need to pay a co-pay or a deductible. In cases where surgery is needed, the cost can be quite high. However, it’s important to remember that the cost of the treatment is a small price to pay for the relief of the symptoms and the improvement of the overall quality of life.
At RS Surgical MD, our proctologists are experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of internal hemorrhoids. They will work closely with our patients to ensure that the appropriate treatment is used, and will provide guidance and support throughout the recovery process. If you are experiencing symptoms of internal hemorrhoids, please don’t hesitate to contact us for an appointment.