Hemorrhoids are normal clusters of vascular tissue, smooth muscle, and connective tissue lined by the normal epithelium in the anal canal. Although they are normal part of our anatomy, they can cause problems when the tissue swells and becomes inflamed or rupture and release blood into the stool. There is an estimated 4-5% of the general population that have symptoms from their hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are more common with age, and the peak incidence is between ages 45-65 years old.

With large population of people suffering from hemorrhoids you should not hesitate to contact some of the best hemorrhoid doctors in Los Angeles like the experienced colorectal surgeons and gastroenterologists at the Hemorrhoid Center of Excellence.

Types of Hemorrhoids

There are two different types of hemorrhoids – internal and external, and they vary by their location and symptoms.

Internal Hemorrhoids

Internal hemorrhoids occur when the rectal veins deeper in the rectum and anal cushions swell. These types of hemorrhoids are more difficult to notice, as they are painless and hidden from the eye. When the veins swell and grow larger they begin to intrude into the anal canal. After sometime the hemorrhoid may cause bleeding in the toilet or around stool during a bowel movement, you may also notice an itching or pulsation sensation. A serious complication can occur when the hemorrhoids become so large they prolapse or extend pass the anus. This is a serious condition and should be treated immediately by hemorrhoid expert.

External Hemorrhoids

External hemorrhoids occur when the rectal veins around the anus become weakened and swell causing blood to collect under the skin. After awhile, the skin in the area is raised, and the veins become visible.  Although they may be painless initially, one of the first signs you may notice can be blood in the toilet, or on tissue paper. Some other things you may feel is the anus may be itchy or sensitive to touch. When left untreated, a complication of external hemorrhoids is a blood clot or thrombosis. This causes extreme pain and should be treated immediately.

Risk Factors

Some risk factors for developing hemorrhoids both internal and external include:

  • Increasing age
  • Low fiber diet
  • Constipation and straining
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Hepatic diseases

Treatment for Internal Hemorrhoids

Internal hemorrhoids are difficult to treat with creams, ointments and suppositories, because of their location; frequently surgical treatment is necessary to resolve them. The physicians at La Peer perform a variety of procedures to treat internal hemorrhoids including sclerotherapy, hemorrhoidectomy, and rubber band ligation.

When medical measures fail, a stapled hemorrhoidectomy may be required.  This is a procedure in which a hemorrhoidal stapler is placed into the area, the hemorrhoidal tissue is removed, and a circular row of staples is used to reconnect the lining tissue. The procedure is performed in about 30minutes and most patients can return to work or home about an hour after.

THD is another type of internal hemorrhoidal operation. Your colorectal specialist will explain both procedures to you.

Next, read about the causes of hemorrhoid anatomy and progression.