Do you have hemorrhoids? You’re not alone. Statistics show about one out of every 20 Americans suffer from hemorrhoids, and that number is even greater among older men and women.
Also called piles, hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels located inside the rectum or around the anus.
If you have hemorrhoids, you probably also have some of the more common symptoms, like:
While hemorrhoid symptoms can resolve temporarily, they’re almost sure to come back, especially during bowel movements or after long periods of standing or sitting.
If you suffer from hemorrhoids, the pain and discomfort can range from relatively mild to excruciating, and even a simple activity like sitting and relaxing can be almost too painful to bear.
Fortunately, Michael Tarlowe, MD, is skilled in treating hemorrhoids, bringing fast, effective relief for patients in and around New York City and White Plains, New York. If you suffer from hemorrhoids, here’s how Dr. Tarlowe can help.
If your hemorrhoids cause only mild, infrequent symptoms, you might be able to find relief with “home remedies.” Over-the-counter products like creams, ointments, and suppositories use special formulations that help reduce swelling, pain, itching, and burning. Products can be applied throughout the day, but it’s important to follow the instructions for each product to avoid overapplication.
Some milder hemorrhoids benefit from frequent soaking or bathing in plain warm water or an epsom salt solution. You can take a bath in your regular tub or invest in a small basin designed to fit inside your toilet seat. Applying a cloth-wrapped ice pack a few times a day can also help relieve symptoms.
If you suffer from constipation, taking a stool softener can make bowel movements easier, and prevent the straining that often causes hemorrhoids to swell and hurt. You can also encourage better bowel habits by increasing the amount of fiber in your diet and by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
Home remedies and DIY options might be fine for rare or occasional discomfort. But when hemorrhoid symptoms are chronic or frequent, or when pain and itching become more severe, it’s time to consider a more permanent solution. For most people, that means removing the hemorrhoid and getting rid of those symptoms once and for all.
Dr. Tarlowe offers several options for treating hemorrhoids. For severe hemorrhoids that tend to protrude and cause bleeding, rubber band ligation is one of the simplest and most common options. In ligation, a special rubber band is fitted around the hemorrhoid, cutting off the blood flow. The hemorrhoid falls off after about a week, leaving behind a scar that helps prevent future hemorrhoids from forming.
Some hemorrhoids respond well to sclerotherapy — the same type of approach used for varicose veins in other parts of the body. In this method, a chemical solution is injected into the hemorrhoid. The solution prevents blood flow through the affected vessels, causing the hemorrhoid to shrink and shrivel. Problematic hemorrhoids can also be removed surgically in a procedure called a hemorrhoidectomy.
Medical treatments for hemorrhoids are performed as outpatient procedures using a local anesthetic with or without intravenous sedation. Prior to your treatment, Dr. Tarlowe evaluates your hemorrhoids, your symptoms, and your medical history to decide which approach is best for you.
Hemorrhoids tend to be more common among people who spend a lot of time on their feet, as well as people who are overweight or who experience chronic constipation and straining during bowel movements. But the fact is, just about anyone can develop hemorrhoids, at just about any age.
Treating hemorrhoids is probably a lot simpler than you imagine — so why suffer from their symptoms? Schedule an office visit and consultation with Dr. Tarlowe, and find out what he can do to relieve your hemorrhoid symptoms once and for all. Call our office in New York City or White Plains, or use our online form to book your visit today.