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Hemorrhoids Services at UPMC in Central Pa.

The colon and rectal specialists at UPMC in Central Pa. provide personalized surgical and nonsurgical care to treat discomfort caused by hemorrhoids.

Why choose UPMC for hemorrhoid treatment?

Although hemorrhoids are very common and rarely dangerous, they can affect your quality of life and cause significant discomfort and embarrassment. Our colon and rectal care specialists provide expert diagnosis and personalized treatment for hemorrhoids. Whether you need surgical or nonsurgical care, we will work closely with you to find the best treatment option for your specific condition.

What are hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins that can develop inside your rectum, called internal hemorrhoids, or under the skin around your anus, called external hemorrhoids.

How are hemorrhoids treated?

Our experts offer a full range of hemorrhoid treatments, including:

Nonsurgical Treatment for Hemorrhoids

  • Dietary planning. Your doctor may recommend that you include more water and high-fiber foods in your diet to promote good bowel habits, which can reduce your risk of developing hemorrhoids.
  • Medications. For mild cases of hemorrhoids, your doctor may recommend treatment using creams, suppositories, ointments, or medicated pads.

Procedures for Hemorrhoids

Our board-certified colon and rectal surgeons use outpatient, less-painful techniques to treat hemorrhoids. Minimally invasive procedures to treat hemorrhoids often can be performed in our office and include:

  • Hemorrhoid banding. Hemorrhoid banding, also called rubber band ligation, involves placing tiny rubber bands around a hemorrhoid to cut off the blood flow. The lack of blood flow causes the hemorrhoid to shrink and fall off.
  • External hemorrhoid thrombectomy. An external hemorrhoid thrombectomy treats a painful blood clot called a thrombosis that can form in an external hemorrhoid. Your doctor will make a small incision in the hemorrhoid to excise the clot.

Surgical Procedures for Hemorrhoids

Our board-certified colon and rectal surgeons use the latest surgical techniques to treat hemorrhoids. These include:

  • Hemorrhoidectomy. Hemorrhoidectomy is a procedure to remove your hemorrhoid. You may receive local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia depending on surgical technique that is used and your specific situation.
  • Stapled hemorrhoidopexy. This procedure cuts off blood flow to an internal hemorrhoid using staples.

What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids?

Some hemorrhoids do not cause any symptom; however, common symptoms may include:

  • A sensitive or painful lump near your anus
  • Bleeding during bowel movements, usually without pain
  • Itching, swelling, or irritation around your anus
  • Pain or discomfort around your anus

Thrombosed hemorrhoids, which occur when a blood clot forms inside the hemorrhoid, can be extremely painful.

Who is at risk for hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are caused by increased pressure in the lower rectum and are extremely common, affecting nearly 75 percent of adults at some point in their lives. Hemorrhoids are more likely to occur in older people because the tissues that support the veins in your rectum and anus stretch and weaken as you age. Other causes of hemorrhoids include:

  • Constipation
  • Obesity
  • Straining during bowel movements
  • Sitting on the toilet for long periods of time
  • Pregnancy

How can I prevent hemorrhoids?

Maintaining good bowel habits can lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids. Eating a diet rich in fiber, drinking plenty of water, and exercising regularly can promote regular bowel movements and help you avoid constipation and straining.

UPMC Pinnacle Colon and Rectal Surgery

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