Mr Iain Jourdan FRCS
Specialist Laparoscopic and Colorectal Surgeon
Dealing with irritable lumps and bleeding
Haemorrhoids (piles) are small, blood-filled cushions located just inside the back passage (internal haemorrhoids) but can sometimes form outside the anus (external haemorrhoids). Problems with haemorrhoids are very common, but the symptoms often disappear without any treatment. Haemorrhoids may cause bleeding from the back passage, anal discomfort or itchiness, discharge of mucus, or prolapse with a lump coming through the anus. Very occasionally, blood clots inside a haemorrhoid and causes a painful hard lump on the outside of the anus (thrombosed external haemorrhoid). Risk factors for developing haemorrhoids include straining at stool, constipation, low fibre diets, obesity and pregnancy. The main ways to avoid having problems with haemorrhoids are to eat a high fibre diet and to avoid straining at stool.
Where symptoms are infrequent and mild then topical preparations that can be purchased over the counter may be sufficient. However, more problematic haemorrhoids may require specialist treatment. There are a variety of treatments from simple injections and banding of haemorrhoids that can be carried out in the outpatient setting through to surgical procedures which require a general anaesthetic. The surgical procedures are haemorrhoidopexy (suturing of haemorrhoids), stapled haemorrhoidectomy and classic haemoidectomy (cutting out haemorrhoids). You can discuss with Mr Jourdan which type of treatment is best suited to your problem.