There are a number of hemorrhoid treatment options available to patients and each has a different level of effectiveness to help with your hemorrhoid symptoms. Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the lower rectum or anus that can be caused by dehydration, prolonged sitting, diarrhea or constipation. Extremely common, hemorrhoids affect half of the population at some point in their life.
There are two different types of hemorrhoids: internal hemorrhoids and external hemorrhoids. Dr. Nowain must first assess the type of hemorrhoid before being able to conduct the correct treatment. In general, the first step in every case is to accurately diagnose the problem, then cover various treatment options with the patient, and finally perform the agreed upon treatment for hemorrhoids.
Dr. Nowain specializes in treating internal hemorrhoids with hemorrhoid band ligation and a patient’s safety and comfort is his top priority. This page will help you better familiarize yourself with the types of treatments that are on the market so that you can make an informed choice when determining what to do with your body. We highly suggest consulting with an experienced gastroenterologist, like Ari Nowain, MD, to ensure an effective treatment to decrease the probability of any reoccurrence.
At-Home Hemorrhoid Remedies
While many at-home treatments may provide relief from the symptoms of hemorrhoids, they rarely address the root of the problem and stop hemorrhoids from reoccurring. Always follow your doctor’s instructions before undertaking any of the following treatments; however, if you have not been able to see a doctor and need pain relief, the following is a list of common at-home treatments that can help with symptoms of hemorrhoids.
- Over the counter pain relievers (Tylenol) can help alleviate pain, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Motrin, and Aleve) can also help with pain as well as swelling.
- Apply ice several times a day for 10-minute increments.
- Take a sitz bath several times a day (especially after a bowel movement) by filling a bathtub with enough warm water to soak the anal area for 15-minutes at a time.
If you already have hemorrhoids, there are a number of things that you can do to limit your pain:
- After a bowel movement, gently blot the anus with moist toilet paper or a cleaning agent like Balnoel. Other options include non-scented baby wipes and pre-moistened towels to help sanitize the area.
- Do not rub, scratch, or scrub the anus or surrounding area because it can lead to irritation. After a bowel movement, rinse off in the shower or use a bidet instead of using toilet paper. After cleaning, be sure to pat dry with a soft, clean absorbent cloth.
- When cleaning the anal area, do not use soaps that have perfumes or dyes.
The following are important points to keep in mind when dealing with hemorrhoids:
- Bed rest is sometimes necessary to take the pressure off of inflamed hemorrhoids. If you are pregnant, it may help to sleep or lay on your side. If you are not pregnant, try to lay facedown with a pillow underneath your pelvis. (Raising the pelvis and anal area above the head and heart can help reduce swelling.)
- If possible, try not to stand or sit for extended periods of time. If that’s not possible, sit on a cushion.
- Do not life heavy objects.
A hemorrhoidectomy is the surgical removal of an internal hemorrhoid. While it is an effective method of removal, hemorrhoidectomies are invasive, painful, and have a long recovery period (up to three weeks after surgery). Long-term success of a hemorrhoidectomy still depends heavily on the patient changing their daily bowl habits to avoid constipation and strain during bowel movements. About 5% of all patients that undergo a hemorrhoidectomy experience a reoccurrence.
Surgical removal of a hemorrhoid may be the right option for you if:
- Very large internal hemorrhoids have been found that are not amenable to hemorrhoid band ligation.
- Large external hemorrhoids or skin tags are causing discomfort and are making it difficult to clean the area.
- Other hemorrhoid treatments have failed.
Cauterization is a treatment that some doctors use. A doctor will burn the tissue of the hemorrhoid and seal the end with an electric probe, a laser, or an infrared light. It’s an outpatient procedure that is a lower priced than other options available on the market. Many patients often refer to this treatment as laser hemorrhoid removal.
Hemorrhoid Band Ligation: A Non-Surgical Alternative
Hemorrhoid band ligation, otherwise known as rubber band ligation, is a popular and effective method of hemorrhoid removal that does not involve surgery. While hemorrhoidectomy is a full on surgical procedure requiring heavy anesthesia, surgical removal, and long recovery times, rubber band ligation requires no anesthesia, no incisions, and has a very short recovery time.
Dr. Nowain utilizes the CRS O’Regan FDA approved system of hemorrhoid band ligation to treat and remove internal hemorrhoids. This allows him to gently suction the hemorrhoid in place and cut off its blood supply by placing a small rubber band around its base. The entire procedure is painless because it occurs above the nerve line.
Is Hemorrhoid Banding Safe?
Safety is always Dr. Nowain’s primary concern. Luckily, rubber band ligation is an extremely safe procedure with a very high level of success and a low level of reoccurrence. The reason why it’s so safe is because:
- The instruments are smaller, making the procedure more comfortable
- The instruments used by Dr. Nowain are single use and 100% disposable, decreasing the risk of contamination and infection. He avoids the use of older, traditional banding techniques, which use metal-toothed clamps and increase the risk of pain and bleeding.
- Anesthesia is unnecessary.
Is Hemorrhoid Banding Covered by Insurance?
The hemorrhoid banding procedure is coverable by both PPO and Medicare. Additionally, reasonable prices are available to patients who lack medical insurance.
Choosing The Best Hemorrhoid Treatment
If you or someone you know has hemorrhoids, please contact Dr. Nowain’s office at (310) 657-4444 to schedule an appointment for evaluation to see what is best for you.
Next, read our Hemorrhoid Banding FAQ.