Haemorrhoids, commonly called Piles, are swollen veins in the anal canal. This common problem can be painful, but it's usually not serious.
Veins can swell inside the anal canal to form internal haemorrhoids. Or they can swell near the opening of the anus to form external haemorrhoids. You can have both types at the same time. The symptoms and treatment depend on which type you have.
Many people have haemorrhoids at some time. Too much pressure on the veins in the pelvic and rectal area causes haemorrhoids.
Typically, tissue inside the anus fills with blood to help control bowel movements. If you strain or sit on the toilet a long time to move stool, the increased pressure causes the veins in this tissue to swell and stretch. This can cause haemorrhoids.
A haemorrhoidectomy is the term used to describe the removal of haemorrhoids. Incisions are made in the tissue around the haemorrhoid. The swollen vein inside the haemorrhoid is tied off to prevent bleeding, and the haemorrhoid is removed. The surgical area is either sewn closed or left open, with medicated gauze that is used to cover the wound.
Surgery can be done with a knife (scalpel), an electrical tool (cautery pencil), or a laser. Surgery usually cures a haemorrhoid. But the long-term success of haemorrhoid surgery depends on how well you are able to change your daily bowel habits to avoid constipation and straining. About 5 out of 100 people have their haemorrhoids return after surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect after surgery?
Right after the surgery, when you are still under anaesthesia, you will be given a long-acting local anaesthetic. It should last 6 to 12 hours to provide pain relief after surgery. If you are not going to stay overnight in the hospital after surgery, you will leave only after the anaesthesia wears off and you have urinated. Inability to urinate (urinary retention) sometimes occurs because of swelling in the tissues or a spasm of the pelvic muscles.