David W. Ranson, MD, FACS
General & Vascular Surgeon located in South Charleston, WV
Hemorrhoids can be painful, itchy, and embarrassing. David W. Ranson, MD, FACS, knows how uncomfortable these swollen veins feel. At his office in South Charleston, West Virginia, Dr. Ranson diagnoses and treats all types of hemorrhoids to relieve your discomfort and keep you feeling your best. To learn more about hemorrhoids and how to treat them, call David W. Ranson, MD, FACS, or schedule an appointment online today.
Hemorrhoids Q & A
What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels in the lower portion of your rectum or anus. Also called piles, hemorrhoids can occur either inside the rectum or on the outside of the anus. Some hemorrhoids cause no symptoms at all, but others feel painful and irritating.
You may have hemorrhoids if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Bleeding during bowel movements
- Protrusion during bowel movements
- Itching in the anal area
- Sensitive lumps
What are the types of hemorrhoids?
There are two main types of hemorrhoids:
Internal hemorrhoids develop inside the rectum and typically cause no symptoms. While they’re typically painless, you may experience bright red blood in your stool if they grow large enough. In some cases, internal hemorrhoids can push through your anus, causing pain and discomfort.
External hemorrhoids form right underneath the skin around your anus. They can feel painful, itchy, and irritated, particularly when you go to the bathroom.
Thrombosed hemorrhoids occur when a blood clot forms inside an external hemorrhoid, often leading to pain, discomfort, swelling, and itching.
What causes hemorrhoids?
Your likelihood of getting hemorrhoids increases as you age, especially when there’s increased pressure in the lower end of your rectum. Some of the most common risk factors for all types of hemorrhoids include:
- Being overweight
- Chronic constipation
- Anal sex
- Sitting for too long
- Low-fiber diet
- Pushing too hard during bowel movements
- Heavy lifting
Hemorrhoids are particularly common in women during pregnancy. This becomes more likely as your baby grows, pushing and stretching your lower rectum.
What are the treatments for hemorrhoids?
Dr. Ranson may recommend creams and suppositories to treat external hemorrhoids that are mildly uncomfortable. However, more severe hemorrhoids may require more intensive treatments to eliminate.
Based on a consultation, Dr. Ranson may recommend a nonsurgical procedure to cut off blood flow to internal hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids may also be removed to stop uncomfortable symptoms.
What is Infrared Coagulation?
Infrared Coagulation (IRC) has become the world’s leading treatment for hemorrhoids. A small probe is placed above the hemorrhoid and a few short bursts of infrared light are applied. The infrared light quickly coagulates the vessels that provide the hemorrhoids with blood, causing the hemorrhoids to shrink and recede. Shrinkage of the hemorrhoidal tissue may take a few weeks.
Most patients return to a normal lifestyle the same day. There may be a slight spot bleeding a few days later. Heavy straining or lifting should be avoided and aspirin should not be taken for a few days.
How many visits are required?
The number of treatments will depend on the severity of symptoms, location of the hemorrhoids, and the patient's individual response to the procedure.
For safe, effective hemorrhoid treatment, call David W. Ranson, MD, FACS, or book an appointment online now.