Piles is a condition in which the veins found in your lower rectum or anus get enlarged or inflamed. This tissue plays a vital role in the control of bowel movement. Once it gets enlarged, you will encounter problems having a normal bowel movement.
Many people are reluctant to discuss the problems they face due to enlarged hemorrhoids. Consequently, patients with such problems are also less likely to seek medical attention. Similarly, many people are reluctant to undergo physical examination out of fear that it could be a sign of a more serious condition. However, seeing a doctor will greatly help in allaying such fears. More importantly, you receive timely and appropriate treatment.
Almost three in every four adults will develop piles at one time or another in their lives.
Each year, nearly 10 million Indians develop piles. Spicy food and intake of aerated beverages have been identified as the main reasons for the development of piles. Pregnant women are at a higher risk of developing piles. As people advance in age, the risk of piles is greater.
Even though piles are painful and unpleasant, they can be prevented and treated easily. Those experiencing symptoms of piles should get it checked early enough.
Causes of piles
Piles develop when the veins around your rectum or anus come under increased pressure. Consequently, the veins bulge and swell. Some of the factors that might cause increased pressure include:
Chronic constipation: A person who is constipated strains a lot while having a bowel movement. This might trigger the swelling of veins in the lower rectum or anus leading to the development of piles.
Pregnancy: Hormonal imbalance during pregnancy might cause your veins to relax. When veins are relaxed, this might trigger the development of piles.
Low-fiber diet: The consumption of a diet low in fiber results in strained bowel movement. This is because such foods lack the bulk desirable for a normal bowel movement. Therefore, the stools are hard.
Other causes of piles include:
- Straining too much while having a bowel movement
- When the tissue that supports the rectum and anus becomes weak, due to pregnancy or age
- Obesity or being overweight exerts pressure on the veins around the lower rectum and anus. This can in turn trigger inflammation of the blood vessels around this region and increases the risk of developing piles.
- Chronic diarrhea due to strained or prolonged sitting while having a bowel movement can trigger the development of piles
- Lifting heavy weight on a regular basis strains the anal muscles. This might cause swelling of the veins around your anal region and lead to the development of piles
What are the signs and symptoms of piles?
The signs and symptoms of piles differ, based on the kind of hemorrhoid involved. In this case, the inflamed hemorrhoids can be either internal or external
These are often found inside the rectum. Some of the hemorrhoids can be felt during a physical examination, while others are visible to the naked eye. Internal hemorrhoids may rarely cause discomfort, yet it is important to seek medical attention.
The irritation caused by straining while having a bowel movement can result in a prolapsed hemorrhoid. This happens when a hemorrhoid protrudes from the anal opening due to the pressure caused by the strain of bowel movements. Consequently, the protruding or prolapsed hemorrhoid can cause irritation and may also be painful
Some people also experience painless bleeding while having a bowel movement. This is evident by the presence of bloodstain on the toilet seat or tissue.
These are external to the anus. External hemorrhoids are usually visible on the anal region, beneath the skin. The signs and symptoms of external hemorrhoids are as follows:
- Discomfort and/or pain
- Itching sensation around the anal region
- Inflammation around the anal region
This happens when a clot has formed in an external hemorrhoid, usually, as a result of pooling of blood around your anus. Thrombosed hemorrhoids may lead to:
- Swelling around the anus
- Pain while having a bowel movement, sitting down, or walking
- An itching sensation around your anal region
- Lumps or swelling on your anus
- Bloody spots on your stool.
How can you diagnose piles?
When you visit one of our doctors with symptoms of enlarged hemorrhoids, they will carefully check these symptoms to rule out other medical conditions. Thereafter, the doctor will need to physically examine your anus for any signs of inflammation. A physical examination will also reveal whether the pile is an internal hemorrhoid or an external one. This diagnosis will form the basis for their treatment. Our team of doctors and behavioral psychologists will take you through the diagnostic process to ease your fear and ensure you feel as comfortable as you need to.
Based on the symptoms exhibited, the doctor might need to order further tests. For instance, in case your stool is bloody, it may be necessary to have a colonoscopy. A digital rectal examination will help doctors to check for anything unusual.
During the procedure, the doctor will lubricate your anus and insert a gloved finger. While this might sound embarrassing, you can be sure that you won’t feel any pain. The doctor makes a circular movement with his fingers to feel the membrane lining around your anus.
This examination is also not painful and it allows the doctor to exclude other medical conditions.
The doctor will order a proctoscopy in case he finds the presence of enlarged hemorrhoids. Proctoscopy involves examining the rectum and the membrane that surrounds the rectum. This is a short tube which has a lens and light mounted on it. A proctoscope allows the doctor to assess the size of your hemorrhoids. Again, the procedure is not painful. Prior to the procedure, your need to have emptied your rectum using either a suppository or a laxative.
The best treatment for piles is prevention. It is important that your stool remains soft, for easy bowel movements. The following tips are also useful in preventing piles and mitigating the symptoms:
- High-fiber diet: Form a habit of consuming whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. These foods have high fiber content and will increase the bulk of your stool, thus softening it. Therefore, bowel movements will be easy without any strain.
- Fluid intake: Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water each day as this will soften your stool. Avoid holding your breath or straining while having a bowel movement
- Physical activity: Exercising helps to minimize pressure on your veins. It also aids in weight reduction and constipation both of which are risk factors for piles.
If the symptoms are severe, it may be necessary to undergo surgery. However, we only recommend surgery as the last option, after all other treatment alternatives have been exhausted.
The mode of treatment adopted is also determined by the severity of your piles
In grade 1 piles, you are likely to experience itching or bleeding, but there is no prolapse involved. At this stage, dietary change, exercise and laxatives and physiotherapy are recommended
Here, there is prolapse involved. In other words, the hemorrhoids exit the anal opening while having a bowel movement and return once the act is completed. At this stage, dietary changes, physiotherapy and laxatives may be recommended Such patients require close monitoring so that in case this treatment fails then it may be necessary to undergo laser haemorrhoidoplasty
Grade 3: Here, the mass of hemorrhoids needs to be pushed back into the anal opening after defecating and it cannot revert on its own. At this stage, laser haemorrhoidoplasty is the most recommended remedy
Laser surgical procedure
Once our team of doctors has determined that laser surgery is required, you will be prepared beforehand. We will organize to have you picked up from home by one of our hospital vans. We will also fast-track the processing of all the necessary documentation so that the surgery takes place as quickly as possible. You and your family will be fully informed of the surgical procedure and you will have an opportunity to pose any questions that you might have to our team of surgeons and their assistants.
The procedure entails passing laser energy onto the hemorrhoidal mass on your anal opening. The laser energy has to reach the submucosal zone. At this point, the hemorrhoidal mass undergoes shrinkage due to the effect of the laser energy. The procedure also involves fibrotic reconstruction to allow for the growth of new connective tissue. The goal is to promote adherence of the mucosa to the underlying tissue. In this way, the prolapse will not recur.
Benefits of laser surgery
- No incisions or cuts involved
- Limited post-operative pain relative to other procedures
- The procedure does not predispose one to rectal stenosis
- The procedure is simple and fast, resulting in quick recovery, usually within 3-4 days
Post-op care and diet after laser surgery for piles
After undergoing laser surgery, diet management is important. This is because the kind of food that you eat can either prevent or exacerbate your pile condition. Towards this end, our dieticians will work closely with you in providing the post-op diet care that you need. Besides diet, we also conduct a follow-up to make sure that you are healing properly.
A few days after the operation, we recommend that you eat a bland diet. You need to also drink a lot of fluids. With time, you can gradually start eating regular food. Increase your intake of fiber-rich foods gradually. We will keep a close check on you to ascertain whether you feel any pain prior to and after having a bowel movement. In case you feel pain, we may recommend a numbing medication.
Piles is a common health condition that causes discomfort to patients. They are also likely to feel pain and itching when the tissues in the anus or rectum swell. Ultimately, piles affects the quality of life of patients. Some individuals who have piles opt for home remedies such as taking a warm bath with Epsom salt and application of over-the-counter ointments. However, these rarely help.
Patients should seek treatment as soon as possible to offset the worsening of symptoms. The benefits of associating with goficure for piles treatment is as follows :
- We have a team of highly skilled surgeons experienced in treating piles. Further, they are trained in advanced surgical techniques.
- Our surgeons have collectively performed hundreds of laser surgeries to treat piles. Laser surgery is preferred to open surgery since it is less invasive, takes a shorter time to administer, and is painless. Laser surgery also greatly reduces the risk of bleeding and infection.
- goficure is your one-stop solution for the treatment of piles in Bangalore.
- We offer discounted consultations with our team of surgeons to ensure timely diagnoses.
- We will make arrangements to have you picked up from home and complete all the formalities before the surgery
- goficure will assist you with all the paperwork, including making insurance claims.
- We provide post-op care and consultations with nutritionists and other health experts in Bangalore.
- We work with specialized facilities in Bangalore to deliver high-quality healthcare services.
1. Dedicated Medi-Pal
A dedicated Medi-Pal is assigned to you. Your Medi-Pal will be your one point contact throughout the treatment and post-op period. They will always be available for you
2. Quick doctor’s appointments
After understanding your concerns, your Medi-Pal will schedule your consultation with a specialist doctor. Your doctor will carry out necessary tests and advise the course of treatment
3. Hassle-free treatment
If you opt to get the surgery done, goficure will take care of it completely. Right from booking your surgery, claiming your insurance to being with you throughout the procedure, your Medi-Pal will do it all
4. Post-op recovery support
Your Medi-Pal would ensure quick recovery. This includes booking your follow up consultations and helping you with doctor-recommended steps for diet & exercise
Smooth and hassle-free
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A dedicated Medi-Pal is assigned to take care of the entire process. This includes booking your appointments, scheduling the surgery, handling your documentation including claiming insurance, discharge, and post-op recovery
Goficure delivers high-quality treatment to you at affordable prices. Superior treatment and best quality of service is assured while keeping costs reasonable
Post procedure care and follow-ups
Our engagement doesn't end after your surgery. It continue until you go back to your normal life. Free diet and exercise consultations during your recovery phase are offered to ensure a quick recovery
With so many options, are you wondering what the right choice for your condition is? While you can opt for either an open surgery or a laser surgery, numerous studies have shown that laser surgeries are far more effective. Be it the duration of the procedure, post-operative pain or recovery time, laser surgeries always outrank open surgeries and are therefore, a better choice. Here is a quick comparison that will help you decide your course of action.
1. Long waiting lines
2. Lack of personalized attention
3. Excessive billing/hidden charges
4. Running around for your treatment
Frequently asked questions
- Severe itching in the anal region
- Mucus discharge in the undergarment or on the toilet paper
- Lumps surrounding the anus
- Red blood following a bowel movement
- Even after going to the toilet, a feeling like you need to poo again
- Pain the anal region
- Delayed healing
- Painful tiny tears which take months to heal
- Presence of scar tissue, which can result in narrowing of the anus
- Injury to sphincter muscles can cause incontinence
- Basic MBBS which is common to all doctors
- FRCS – General surgery.
- DNB – General surgery
- DM – Gastroenterology
- MS – General surgery
- DNB – Surgical gastroenterology
- Fellowship in gastroenterology
- Reduced postoperative pain
- Lesser duration time compared with open surgical hemorrhoidectomy
- Very low risk of bleeding
- No risk of other medical complications
- Protects against death of tissue