Painful Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are cushions of tissue and veins located in the anus or lower rectum. (The rectum is the last part of the large intestine (colon) and leads down to the anus. The anus is the opening through which solid waste (feces) is eliminated). Each year more than one million people in the U.S. are affected by hemorrhoidal conditions. When hemorrhoids become inflamed, they can itch, bleed, and cause pain. Since they tend to get worse over the years, it is recommended that treatment be sought early. This common problem can be painful, but it's usually not serious. Hemorrhoids are not dangerous or life threatening. There are several conservative medical treatments that can often be used to treat hemorrhoids including analgesics (medications that reduce or eliminate pain), anti-inflammatory drugs, topical creams, increasing fiber in your diet, and taking Sitz baths (sitting in warm water for 10 minutes several times a day). However, if they don’t respond to medical therapy, there are procedures that can be done in the surgeon's office.