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Medical Treatment of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are chronic, meaning they don’t go away on their own. Talk to your healthcare provider about what treatment options are best for you. Remember that hemorrhoids are a common problem so you shouldn’t feel embarrassed or that your symptoms aren’t serious enough. Your healthcare provider might recommend some options for managing hemorrhoids, such as simple lifestyle changes, over-the-counter products like PREPARATION H® or for severe cases, surgery.
Topical products (those that you apply externally) can temporarily ease hemorrhoid flare-ups. Among over-the-counter hemorrhoid brands, doctors recommend PREPARATION H® more than any other OTC brand. Find the right product for you with the Personal Relief Finder.
These treatments should only be used for short periods of time. Be sure to stop use and see your doctor if:
Your symptoms worsen or do not improve within 7 days
You develop an allergic reaction
If your symptoms are more severe, your healthcare provider might recommend one of the following procedures. For more information, talk to your healthcare provider.
If a blood clot has formed within an external hemorrhoid, your healthcare provider can remove the clot with a simple incision, which may provide prompt relief. For persistent bleeding or painful hemorrhoids, your healthcare provider may recommend a minimally invasive procedure, such as:
- Rubber band ligationThe hemorrhoid is drawn into a special instrument, which fastens a tiny rubber band around the base of the hemorrhoid. Eventually, the hemorrhoid falls off.
- Injection (also called “sclerotherapy”)In this procedure, your healthcare provider injects a medicine into the hemorrhoid tissue to shrink it.
- Coagulation (also called infrared, laser or bipolar)Coagulation involves laser or infrared light or heat, which causes small, bleeding internal hemorrhoids to harden and shrivel.
If other procedures aren’t successful or you have very large hemorrhoids, your healthcare provider may recommend one of these surgical procedures:
- Hemorrhoid removalDuring a “hemorrhoidectomy,” the surgeon removes excessive tissue that causes bleeding.
- Hemorrhoid staplingThis procedure, called “stapled hemorrhoidectomy” or “stapled hemorrhoidopexy,” surgically blocks blood flow to hemorrhoidal tissue.