Treatment for hemorrhoids will depend on your age, health, your medical history, the extent of your condition, and your tolerance for certain treatments and medicines. Symptom relief usually includes taking warm sitz (tub) baths several times a day for 10-15 minutes to shrink blood vessels and soothe itching and irritation; using witch hazel wipes to reduce irritation; and using cream or suppository to help shrink hemorrhoids. Cortisone creams are not recommended. Ice packs can also help relieve inflammation.
Relieving or preventing constipation is important if you have hemorrhoids. This means drinking at least 6-8 glasses of water a day and increasing your dietary fiber – whole grains, vegetables, and fruits – and taking a stool softener or fiber supplement if necessary to eliminate straining and reduce pressure on hemorrhoids. Fiber is helpful for both constipation and diarrhea.
Infrequently, large or symptomatic hemorrhoids may need to be surgically removed. Our experts treat hemorrhoids using a number of techniques, including:
- Opening of acutely swollen external hemorrhoids. This may be done in the office and is only helpful if performed in the first couple of days after symptoms.
- Rubber band ligation – placing a rubber band around the bottom of the hemorrhoid inside the rectum, which cuts off blood flow to the hemorrhoid, causing it to slowly shrink and degenerate within a few days.
- Sclerotherapy – injecting a chemical solution around the blood vessel to shrink the hemorrhoid.
- Electrical, laser or infrared photo coagulation – using different sources of heat to destroy the hemorrhoid.
- Hemorrhoidectomy – removing hemorrhoids surgically.
- A new technique of stapling hemorrhoids may be appropriate with multiple internal hemorrhoids.
Following treatment for hemorrhoids, it is important to prevent recurrence by keeping stools soft so they pass without pressure and straining. Increased dietary fiber, exercise, and drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day can help reduce chances of a recurrence..