Gastrointestinal Associates of Rockland

Gastroenterologists located in New City, NY

Many adults get hemorrhoids from time to time, but for some people, this condition is painful and persistent. If you have recurring hemorrhoids, or you’re experiencing severe discomfort from a hemorrhoid, schedule an appointment at Gastrointestinal Associates of Rockland in New City, New York. The experienced specialists treat hemorrhoids with minimally invasive, nonsurgical techniques and help you to prevent hemorrhoids from coming back. Schedule an appointment online or over the phone.

Hemorrhoids Q & A

What are hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are swollen, irritated veins in the lower part of your rectum and anus. The most common cause of hemorrhoids is straining during bowel movements, including chronic constipation. That usually means you don’t get enough fiber in your diet.

Hemorrhoids also develop in response to excess pressure on your lower rectum. Other risk factors for hemorrhoids include: 

  • Sitting for long periods of time
  • Heavy lifting
  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity

Hemorrhoids can affect both the inside of your rectum (internal hemorrhoids) and the skin surrounding your anus (external). 

They’re not always symptomatic (other than being noticeably swollen), but they may bleed, itch, or cause pain. External hemorrhoids are more likely to cause discomfort because the area around your anus has a lot of nerve endings.

When do I need to see my doctor for hemorrhoids?

Most hemorrhoids don’t require medical attention and go away within a couple of weeks. If your hemorrhoid is causing only minor discomfort, you may first try to manage the symptoms at home. 

You can usually relieve the pain, swelling, and inflammation with over-the-counter creams or by taking warm baths.

Hemorrhoids are rarely dangerous, but they can cause significant discomfort and may improve only with more advanced treatment. Schedule an appointment at Gastrointestinal Associates of Rockland if:

  • You see signs of rectal bleeding, including blood when you wipe
  • You’re in severe pain
  • The hemorrhoid hasn’t improved after a week with at-home treatment

Hemorrhoids aren’t the only condition that causes rectal bleeding. Your doctor examines the affected area to determine if your symptoms are the result of hemorrhoids or have another cause, such as anal fissures (tears).

What treatment options are available for hemorrhoids?

If you have a hemorrhoid that is persistent, bleeding, or large, your doctor can treat it in the office using a nonsurgical procedure. There are several proven-effective treatments for hemorrhoids. Your doctor may recommend:

  • Banding: Placing tiny rubber bands at the base of the hemorrhoid, cutting off its circulation
  • Coagulation: Aiming guided light or heat at hemorrhoids so they harden or shrivel
  • Sclerotherapy: Injecting a chemical into the hemorrhoid, causing it to shrink

In addition to treating hemorrhoids, your doctor helps you develop good habits that prevent hemorrhoids from recurring. These habits include eating high-fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and staying hydrated.

To get treatment for a hemorrhoid, call Gastrointestinal Associates of Rockland or use the online booking tool.