Hemorrhoids: Understanding Symptoms and Surgical Treatment Options

February 29, 2024

Hemorrhoids, commonly known as piles, are swollen veins located in the lowest part of the rectum and anus. This prevalent condition affects a significant portion of the adult population at some point in their lives. While many cases of hemorrhoids can be managed with conservative treatments, some situations may necessitate surgical intervention. This article delves into the symptoms of hemorrhoids and explores the surgical options available for those experiencing severe cases.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids manifest in two forms: internal and external, each presenting a set of symptoms that can impact an individual’s quality of life. Understanding these symptoms is crucial for determining the appropriate course of action.

  • Internal Hemorrhoids typically remain inside the rectum, making them less noticeable. Their primary symptom is painless bleeding during bowel movements, where you might notice small amounts of bright red blood on your toilet tissue or in the toilet bowl.
  • External Hemorrhoids are located under the skin around the anus and can be more problematic due to their location. Symptoms include:
  • Pain or discomfort, especially when sitting or during bowel movements
  • Itching or irritation around the anal region
  • Swelling or a lump near your anus, which may be sensitive or painful
  • Bleeding, although less common than with internal hemorrhoids

In some cases, an external hemorrhoid may develop a clot (thrombosis), leading to severe pain, inflammation, and a hard lump near the anus.

Surgical Treatment Options for Hemorrhoids

Surgery may be considered for hemorrhoids when other treatments have failed or when they have become severely symptomatic.

  • Hemorrhoidectomy: This procedure involves the removal of excessive tissue causing bleeding. The surgery can be performed under general anesthesia and is known for providing long-term relief from severe hemorrhoids. Postoperative pain is a common side effect, and recovery time can vary from one to two weeks.
  • Stapled Hemorrhoidopexy: Also known as the stapled hemorrhoidectomy, this less invasive procedure is used to treat internal hemorrhoids by cutting off the blood flow to the hemorrhoidal tissue. This method is associated with less pain and faster recovery compared to a traditional hemorrhoidectomy but may have a higher recurrence rate.
  • Rubber Band Ligation: While not a surgical procedure in the traditional sense, this outpatient treatment involves placing a rubber band around the base of the hemorrhoid inside the rectum to cut off its blood supply, causing it to wither and fall off within a week. It’s effective for internal hemorrhoids that haven’t been managed by conservative methods.
  • Laser Surgery: In some regions, laser surgery is offered as an option for hemorrhoid removal. It involves using a laser to burn away the hemorrhoidal tissue. However, its benefits over traditional surgical methods are still debated among experts.

Preparing for Hemorrhoid Surgery: Steps to Take

Before undergoing hemorrhoid surgery, it’s important to thoroughly discuss the available options with your healthcare provider. They will consider your medical history, the severity of your hemorrhoids, and any other health concerns. Preoperative steps typically include a physical examination, possible lab tests, and cessation of certain medications to reduce the risk of bleeding. Ensuring you have the necessary support at home for your recovery period is also crucial, as is organizing time off from work. Keeping the body well-hydrated and following a high-fiber diet before the surgery can minimize complications and aid in a smoother recovery process.

Post-Surgery Care and Recovery Tips

Postoperative care is imperative for a swift and uneventful recovery after hemorrhoid surgery. It typically involves pain management, which may include prescription medications or over-the-counter pain relievers. Patients are advised to soak in a warm bath, known as a sitz bath, several times a day and after bowel movements to relieve discomfort. Adequate hydration and a fiber-rich diet are important to prevent constipation, which can exacerbate pain. It’s also essential to avoid heavy lifting and to rest as much as possible during the recovery phase. Regular follow-up visits with the surgeon are necessary to monitor the healing process and address any concerns that may arise.


Hemorrhoids are a common condition with a range of symptoms that can significantly impact an individual’s daily life. While many cases can be managed with non-surgical treatments, severe or persistently symptomatic hemorrhoids may require surgical intervention. Hemorrhoidectomy and stapled hemorrhoidopexy are among the most common surgical treatments, offering relief for those suffering from this condition. It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate treatment based on the severity of symptoms and overall health condition.