What you need to know about piles or haemorrhoids: its symptoms, causes, prevention and treatments such as piles surgery.
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.
Some common indications of piles are:
Should you experience any of these symptoms, please see a trusted piles surgeon for a detailed assessment.
Piles, or haemorrhoids, can be caused by a plethora of different factors. Some common causes include:
Piles (Haemorrhoids) can be divided into four types depending on severity:
These are internal piles that bleed during bowel movements, but are not visible with no protrusion on the outside.
Haemorrhoids bulge out during bowel movements but can retract into the anal canal afterwards, when the straining has stopped.
Bowel movements have significant bleeding, with large painful piles protruding after each bowel movement. Piles may be manually pushed back into the canal.
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.
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.
These may be prescribed to treat small and/or bleeding piles.
A rubber band is placed over the pile to cut off its blood supply, letting it fall off naturally.
This works on the same principle as rubber band ligature, but comes with minimal or no discomfort.
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.
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.
The prolapsed tissue is pulled back to its original position. Afterwards, the cut edges are stapled together for healing.
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.
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 maximize 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.
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.
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.
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.
Piles can be permanently cured via piles surgery. However, piles may still eventually recur depending on how serious one’s constipation and straining is in the long run.
When a patient has higher-grade haemorrhoids accompanied by very uncomfortable symptoms or complications, they may be recommended to undergo piles or haemorrhoids surgery. A piles surgeon may perform a range of procedures ranging from banding and sclerotherapy to haemorrhoidectomy and haemorrhoidopexy.
Rarely do piles or haemorrhoids become infected, but it is possible. Infected areas must receive prompt piles treatments, usually in the form of antibiotics or surgery.
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.