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Piles (Haemorrhoids)

What you need to know about piles or haemorrhoids: its symptoms, causes, prevention and treatments such as piles surgery.

What Are Piles?

Piles, or haemorrhoids, are enlarged and inflamed blood vessels in and around the anus that are easily traumatized and may bleed during bowel movements. While mild piles may eventually resolve on their own, moderate to severe piles (if left untreated) may worsen in size and position and may even become strangulated, causing significant pain.

Piles orHaemorrhoids

Colorectal Practice is committed to practising safe and reliable piles surgery to treat all types of piles.

To schedule a consultation with an experienced Singapore piles surgeon or haemorrhoids surgeon, contact our dedicated team of surgeons at 6262 1226 today.

How Do I Know if I Have Piles?

Some common indications of piles are:

  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Bleeding from the anus during defecation
  • Presence of lumps around or at the anus
  • Pain during and after bowel movement
  • Feeling of itchiness around the anus

Should you experience any of these symptoms, please see a trusted piles surgeon for a detailed assessment.

What Causes Piles?

Piles, or haemorrhoids, can be caused by a plethora of different factors. Some common causes include:

  • Chronic constipation or diarrhoea
  • Strong pressure exerted during labour
  • Prolonged straining during bowel movements

How Are Piles Diagnosed?

Your doctor may diagnose piles by performing the following:

  • Visual Inspection – A colorectal surgeon can detect external haemorrhoids through a visual inspection of the anus and surrounding area.
  • Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) – By inserting a gloved, lubricated finger into the patient's rectum, a colorectal surgeon can feel for the presence of any abnormalities, such as lumps or swelling.

What Are the Different Types of Piles (Haemorrhoids)?

Piles (Haemorrhoids) can be divided into four types depending on severity:

1st Degree

These are internal piles that bleed during bowel movements, but are not visible with no protrusion on the outside.

2nd Degree

Haemorrhoids bulge out during bowel movements but can retract into the anal canal afterwards, when the straining has stopped.

3rd Degree

Bowel movements have significant bleeding, with large painful piles protruding after each bowel movement. Piles may be manually pushed back into the canal.

4th Degree

These piles cannot be pushed back into the anus and can cause significant pain. Piles in this stage may become strangulated and can only be treated with piles surgery.

What Are Possible Complications of Piles?

If left untreated, piles can result in the following complications:


Haemorrhoid bleeding can lead to anaemia, a red blood cell deficiency caused by insufficient iron due to blood loss. This can cause fatigue, paleness, and shortness of breath.

Thrombosed Haemorrhoid

External haemorrhoids can sometimes develop blood clots, causing severe pain, swelling, inflammation, and the formation of a firm lump near the anus.

Strangulated Haemorrhoid

When the blood supply to an internal haemorrhoid is cut off, it becomes strangulated, which can cause severe pain, tissue damage, and infection.


In some cases, haemorrhoids can become infected, causing pain, redness, swelling, and pus drainage.

What Are Common Treatments for Piles?

Different degrees of haemorrhoids require different piles treatments methods. Lower degrees of haemorrhoids may only require lifestyle and dietary changes such as an increase in fibre and fluid intake in order to soften stools, reduce straining and relieve symptoms.

However, greater degrees of piles may require you to undergo either a non-surgical treatment or surgical piles treatments such as haemorrhoidectomy, as recommended by your piles surgeon.

Non-Surgical Piles Treatments

Oral Medications and Suppositories

These may be prescribed to treat small and/or bleeding piles.

Rubber-Band Ligation

A rubber band is placed over the pile to cut off its blood supply, letting it fall off naturally.

Energy Ligation of Haemorrhoidal Arteries

This works on the same principle as rubber band ligature, but comes with minimal or no discomfort.

Surgical Piles Treatments (Piles Surgery)

Conventional Excisional Haemorrhoidectomy

The prolapsed haemorrhoid is cut off and the wound is left open to heal on its own, there is an uncomfortable recovery process and a long healing time.

Closed-wound Excisional Haemorrhoidectomy

This is similar to the conventional method but the wound is stitched shut. This procedure has the shortest recovery time and least amount of pain.

Stapled Haemorrhoidectomy

The prolapsed tissue is pulled back to its original position. Afterwards, the cut edges are stapled together for healing.

Ligasure Haemorrhoidectomy

Haemorrhoids are cut away using an instrument that removes tissue and stops bleeding simultaneously. This results in minimal blood loss and postoperative pain, with fewer complications compared to conventional haemorrhoidectomy.

Transanal Haemorrhoidal Dearterialization (THD)

An ultrasound probe is used to identify suitable blood vessels for removal. After which, blood supply to these vessels are cut off and the haemorrhoids heal on their own. This is not suitable for prolapsed haemorrhoids.

The recovery process depends on the type of procedure done. It is normal to experience some flatulence and bleeding during the first 5 to 10 days after the piles surgery. A soft diet will help with smoother passing of stools

To maximise your speed of recovery, your colorectal surgeon will walk you through the recovery process along with any preventive measures you should take. Generally, home-recovery tips are centred around liquid-based and high-fibre diets, warm sitz baths and keeping the affected area clean. You should also remember to gently pat dry the area and not rub as this may irritate the wound.

For an accurate diagnosis and targeted treatment, consult a piles surgeon at 6262 1226 today.

Can Piles Be Prevented?

While piles cannot be fully prevented, and not all risk factors can be prevented (e.g. pregnancy), there are certain things you can do to lower your risk of developing them:

Eat a High Fibre Diet

Fibre-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can soften your stool and reduce the time it spends in the colon (colon transit time).

Avoid Straining During Bowel Movements

Straining can significantly increase the pressure within the veins in the lower rectum.

Respond Promptly to Bowel Urges

Use the toilet when needed to avoid constipation and prevent increased pressure on the rectal veins.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Obesity increases the risk of piles. Adopt a balanced diet and regular exercise to achieve and sustain a healthy body weight.

Exercise Regularly

Engage in exercises like daily half-hour walks to promote healthy bowel function, prevent constipation, and manage weight, reducing the risk and severity of haemorrhoids.

FAQ on Piles

  • How serious are piles?

    Although they can be uncomfortable or even painful at times, piles or haemorrhoids rarely cause serious health problems. In some cases, complications like strangulation of the haemorrhoid may occur, in which case will require immediate piles treatment.

  • How long do piles take to heal?

    Patients with small piles or haemorrhoids rarely experience any symptoms and usually do not require treatment. However, larger ones that cause pain and swelling are not likely to disappear on their own and need to undergo haemorrhoids treatment such as surgery.

  • What are the types of food to avoid if you have piles?

    As piles are exacerbated by chronic constipation (frequent, excessive straining), your doctor may recommend that you increase your intake of fibre-rich foods (along with ample hydration), and reduce your intake of foods with little to no fibre. This may range from cheese and chips to fast food and processed food.

  • Can piles be permanently cured?

    Piles can be permanently cured via piles surgery. However, piles may still eventually recur depending on how serious one’s constipation and straining are in the long run.

  • How much does piles surgery cost in Singapore?

    Individuals seeking piles surgery in Singapore private hospitals can expect an estimated cost a few thousand dollars. A portion of these expenses can often be covered by insurance, depending on the patient’s own insurance policy. Singaporean citizens and Permanent Residents (PR) can also use Medisave to help cover some of the expenses.

  • When do I need piles surgery?

    When a patient has higher-grade haemorrhoids accompanied by very uncomfortable symptoms or complications, they may be recommended to undergo piles or haemorrhoid surgery. A piles surgeon may perform a range of procedures ranging from banding and sclerotherapy to haemorrhoidectomy and haemorrhoidopexy.

  • What are the side effects of piles surgery?

    Piles surgery may result in temporary side effects like pain and mild bleeding, which can usually be managed with pain medications. In rare cases, complications such as infection and damage to the anal sphincter muscles may occur. In the hands of an experienced piles surgeon, serious complications are very unlikely. You will also receive post-operative care instructions to facilitate a smoother recovery.

Comprehensive Range of Colorectal Services for Your Peace of Mind

We tailor our treatments based on your lifestyle requirements and healthcare needs. At our colorectal clinic, we believe in providing personalized care as it allows for better surgical outcomes and creates a supportive environment for our patients.

For a detailed consultation, contact us at 6262 1226 or fill up the contact form below.

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Farrer Park


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Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
Singapore 228510

Tel: (+65) 6262 1226


38 Irrawaddy Rd, #10-28/29
Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
Singapore 329563

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6 Napier Rd #02-12
Gleneagles Medical Centre
Singapore 258499

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820 Thomson Rd,
#05-51 (Room 2) Mount Alvernia Hospital,
Medical Centre D,
Singapore 574623

Tel: (+65) 6539 9055

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1 Farrer Park Station Rd,
#14-09/10 Connexion,
Singapore 217562

Tel: (+65) 6262 1226