Piles / Haemorrhoids
Piles / Haemorrhoids is a condition where swellings are formed inside the anus which protrude down and cause pain and bleeding. These swellings are due to the enlargement of the blood vessels inside the anus.
What are Piles?
Do you face any discomfort while you are sitting or have bleeding during bowel movement? Then you are probably suffering from haemorrhoids which are also known as piles. In the early stages, most haemorrhoids do not produce any symptom and as they grow in size they become obvious.
What are the Causes of Piles?
The piles are abnormal enlargement of the anal cushions which are normally present in all. These cushions are blood filled spongy structures which play a role in normal defecation. When these cushions get engorged with blood they grow and often dragged down by gravity till they protrude out of the anal opening. They can .burst open due to excess straining at stools and cause bleeding.
What are the Symptoms of Piles?
The symptoms of piles are:
- Experiencing pain while passing stools is the most common symptom and as the condition gets worse, then you can also see the presence of blood in your stool.
- Piles also lead to the formation of swelling around the anus.
- Experiencing pain while sitting or feeling uncomfortable is also one of the common symptoms.
- You may also feel a constant itchy feeling around your anus.
- You may also notice that there is a small discharge of mucus after passing out your stools.
What are the Treatment Options for Piles?
Piles, which are found incidentally and are of a small size without causing any symptoms can be left alone.
Depending on the severity, piles are graded from grade 1-4. Generally grade 1 and 2 piles can be managed without any surgery while grade 3 and 4 usually require a surgeons help for treatment
Non-Surgical Treatment –For small piles a sclerotherapy procedure is done with an endoscope, in which you will be given injections that will help to shrink the haemorrhoids or you can also opt for rubber band ligation.
Surgical Treatment – For grade 3 and 4 haemorrhoids some form of haemorrhoid excision is needed.
The various surgical options are
- Open haemorrhoidectomy
- Stapled haemorrhoidectomy- this is a day care procedure where there is no cut or wound on the outside and the pile mass is removed with a special device called a stapler which is fired deep inside the anus.
- Laser Haemorrhoidectomy- in this a laser beam is used to shrink the pile mass and there is no pain or wound.
What are the Complications Involved in Piles?
One of the common complications involved with haemorrhoids is profuse sudden bleeding.
Sometimes the blood in the piles can get clotted and cause a very painful swelling called a thrombosed external pile. This might require urgent medical care.
Haemorrhoids do not become cancerous. But some cancers in the colon can present as an hemorrhoid. So when someone presents with piles after the age of 40 it is important to do an endoscopy to rule out an underlying cancer.