Haemorrhoids, a common condition affecting millions of people, can cause discomfort and inconvenience in daily life. While surgery has traditionally been considered a treatment option for severe cases, it is essential to explore alternative approaches before considering invasive procedures. In this article, we will discuss why you probably don’t need haemorrhoid surgery and explore alternative haemorrhoid treatments that can effectively manage and alleviate haemorrhoids symptoms.
Non-Surgical Haemorrhoid Treatment Options
- Increasing fibre intake: A high-fibre diet promotes regular bowel movements, reducing strain during bowel movements and preventing the worsening of haemorrhoids symptoms.
- Adequate hydration: Drinking enough water helps soften stools and prevents constipation, which can contribute to haemorrhoid development.
- Regular exercise: Engaging in physical activity improves bowel function and helps prevent constipation.
Topical Treatments and Medications
- Over-the-counter creams and ointments: Topical treatments containing ingredients like hydrocortisone, anti-inflammatories, or witch hazel can provide temporary relief from haemorrhoids symptoms such as itching, pain, and inflammation associated with haemorrhoids.
- Sitz baths: Soaking the affected area in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes several times a day can help alleviate symptoms, reduce swelling, and promote healing.
- Oral pain relievers: Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help manage pain and discomfort caused by haemorrhoids.
Rubber Band Ligation
Rubber band ligation is a non-surgical procedure performed by a healthcare professional like Colorectal surgeon. It involves placing a small rubber band around the base of the haemorrhoid to cut off its blood supply, causing it to shrink and eventually fall off. This is usually a quick procedure and doesn’t cause much discomfort at all as it’s highly-effective, doesn’t involve surgery or anaesthetic, and is minimally-invasive.
Infrared Coagulation (IRC)
IRC is a non-surgical procedure that uses infrared light to coagulate the blood vessels within the haemorrhoid. This causes the haemorrhoid to shrink and disappear over time. It’s also quick and effective, involving no surgery or general anaesthetic.
When Would Haemorrhoid Surgery Be Necessary?
In most cases, haemorrhoids can be effectively managed and treated using non-surgical approaches. However, there are instances where haemorrhoid surgery may be necessary, such as:
- Severe or recurrent haemorrhoids: When non-surgical treatments fail to provide relief or if haemorrhoids are recurrent and significantly impact quality of life, surgery may be considered.
- Complications: If haemorrhoids become thrombosed (blood clots form within them), causing severe pain and swelling, surgical intervention may be required to remove the clot.
- Prolapsed haemorrhoids: Prolapsed haemorrhoids (those that are externally exposed outside of your rectum) that do not respond to non-surgical treatments may require surgery to restore them to their normal position.
In the majority of cases, haemorrhoid surgery isn’t necessary – but you should always ask your medical professional about haemorrhoid treatment options to alleviate pain and discomfort. They will help you determine the most appropriate haemorrhoid treatment approach based on your case and help ensure that you reduce your risks of surgery. By exploring non-surgical options first, you can find effective relief from haemorrhoids symptoms and improve your quality of life without the need for invasive procedures.