Symptoms and treatment options for piles

by Justin W. Content writer

Piles (“bawasir” in Hindi) is a collection of inflamed tissue in the anal canal. Another term for this condition is “Haemorrhoids”. Piles can be either internal or external and can be of many sizes. Internal piles are the most common form of piles. They are generally located 2-4cm above the opening of the anus. 

Based on severity, piles are classified into four grades:

Grade 1: These are small inflammations which are usually found inside the lining of the anus. They do not necessarily cause symptoms

Grade II These are slightly larger as compared to grade I piles. However, like them, these are also found inside the lining of the anus. They are sometimes pushed out while passing stool but will return back on their own

Grade III These are found outside the anus. They are also called prolapsed haemorrhoids. The patient might feel them hanging outside the anus but will be able to push them back inside. 

Grade IV These haemorrhoids are much larger and cannot be pushed back inside the anus. In such cases, medical treatment is the only option.

Piles are caused by increased pressure in the lower rectum. Lifestyle and diet are significant risk factors for piles. Piles can also occur during pregnancy primarily due to the pressure exerted by the excess weight. Age is another factor that can increase the risk of developing piles.  

Most people suffering from piles may not even know it as they do not cause any visible symptoms. In fact, they generally resolve on their own in a few days. If the piles become external or grow in size, the following symptoms of piles may occur:

  1. You may feel a hard and sometimes painful lump around the anus. It may also contain coagulated blood. 

  2. You may still feel full after a bowel movement

  3. You may notice bright red blood after a bowel movement

  4. You might feel itchy and sore around the anus

  5. You might experience pain while passing stool

While in most cases piles are harmless, it can become more severe and cause complications. Some of these complications include:

  1. Anaemia caused by excessive anal bleeding

  2. Infection 

  3. Loss of control of bowel movements (also called fecal incontinence)

  4. Anal fistula where a new channel is created between the skin near the anus and inside the anus

  5. If the blood supply to the piles is cut off, it can result in a condition called strangulated haemorrhoid. This can cause further complications such as infection or blood clot

In the majority of patients, treatment for piles involves simple lifestyle and dietary changes such as losing weight and eating softer, fibre rich food. This stimulates bowel movements and decreases the stress on the rectum. 

However, medical treatments are also available to help get rid of piles and the discomfort it causes. Best hospitals for surgery in Gurgaon such as the CK Birla Hospital and Artemis offer several medical and surgical treatment options for piles. These include:

Medical therapy for piles

There are several medicinal treatments to manage the symptoms caused by piles such as:

OTC (Over the counter) medications: OTC medications such as mild painkillers, ointments, creams and pads can be used to soothe the redness and swelling around the anus. 

Corticosteroids are prescribed to reduce inflammation and pain

Laxatives can be used for patients suffering from constipation. This will stimulate bowel movements and ease pressure on the lower colon. 

Surgical treatment for piles

With advancements in the field of medicine, there are several surgical treatment options for piles. These are generally minimally invasive and are done as out-patient procedures. These include:

Banding: In this procedure, an elastic band is placed on the base of the haemorrhoid. This cuts off the blood supply to the haemorrhoid causing it to fall off after a few days. 

Sclerotherapy: In this procedure, the doctor injects medicines to shrink the piles. This is generally more suited for grade I and II haemorrhoids.

Infrared coagulation: This procedure involves using infrared rays to burn the hemorrhoidal tissue. It is preferred for grade I and II haemorrhoids.

Haemorrhoidectomy: This is a surgical procedure to remove the tissue causing the bleeding. The patient is sedated using local anaesthetic, spinal anaesthetic or general anaesthetic. It is a long term solution to piles. However, like all surgical procedures, haemorrhoidectomy has risks which will be explained in detail by the surgeon before the procedure. 

Haemorrhoid stapling: In this procedure, the surgeon blocks the blood flow to the haemorrhoid by stapling it. This procedure is less painful as compared to haemorrhoidectomy however, it carries a greater risk of recurrence and rectal prolapse.  

With the number of treatment options available today, piles does not need to be a discomfort one has to live with anymore. Most of these procedures are minimally invasive and promise to have you back on your feet in less than 48 hours. And remember, medical treatment is just part of the solution for piles. Focus on making healthy lifestyle and dietary choices to ensure that you never have to deal with piles again. 

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About Justin W. Junior   Content writer

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Joined APSense since, July 25th, 2020, From Manchester, United Kingdom.

Created on Aug 21st 2020 10:05. Viewed 790 times.


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