FAQ’s about Piles

FAQs about piles

Here are the top FAQ's about piles and their answers.

Everyone has haemorrhoids! MYTH OR TRUTH?

It is true that everyone has haemorrhoids because, the pillow-like clusters of veins that are located immediately under the mucous membranes lining the lowest part of the rectum and the anus are anatomically referred to as the haemorrhoid plexus. When these veins become enlarged, swollen and distorted, like varicose veins in the legs, the condition is clinically addressed as haemorrhoids or piles. Being upright creatures, venous vessels involved must continually work against gravity to push blood back up to the heart, and hence haemorrhoids become a common issue. Haemorrhoids are more common in people with the risk of increased abdominal pressure either during pregnancy, from being overweight, or straining during bowel movements.

Men and women suffer from haemorrhoids at about the same rate. True or False?

Yes, haemorrhoids occur in men and women at about the same rate. Haemorrhoids is a common condition in both men and women affecting about half of all people by 50 years of age. Estimates of haemorrhoids affecting pregnant women may vary, but it is estimated to range as high as 35%. Though many women get haemorrhoids during pregnancy and childbirth from the pressure of carrying a baby or the strain during labour that exerts increased stress on the blood vessels of the pelvic area, the rate of haemorrhoid occurrence seems to be the same in both men and women. Haemorrhoids develop most often in adults, being rare among people below 20 years of age and maximum between 45 and 65 years of age, affecting men and women equally.

Newest surgical technique for treating piles

Haemorrhoidectomy is the surgery for treating internal or external haemorrhoids/piles that are extensive or severe. Surgical techniques for removal of haemorrhoids are the most effective treatment. Laser Haemorrhoidectomy Procedure (LHP) is the newest procedure for treating piles, where the haemorrhoidal arterial flow feeding the haemorrhoidal plexus is stopped by laser coagulation. The haemorrhoid laser technique is day-care outpatient procedure of less operating time, bloodless, more effective with very less postoperative pain, scar-free, fewer complications and faster recovery as indictors for the best surgical procedure for piles treatment. The newest laser techniques are advanced and safer than ever before in the treatment for piles.

Which doctor should I consult for piles?

You can consult a gastroenterologist for piles. A gastroenterologist is a specialist trained to treat the internal disorders of the gut, gallbladder, liver, bile ducts, pancreas, stomach, intestines, etc. A gastroenterologist can diagnose and treat piles. Proctologists are specialists who can provide surgical treatment for haemorrhoids. The type and severity of haemorrhoids decides on whether to get treated by a gastroenterologist or a proctologist. Laser haemorrhoidectomy (LHP), which is a minimally invasive therapy that is designed to shrink haemorrhoids is performed by a laser gastroenterologist trained in procedures involving laser technology.

How long will it take to recover from Haemorrhoids?

Mild haemorrhoid symptoms can be relieved with simple lifestyle changes over 2 to 7 days. Diet consisting of fibre from over-the counter supplements and foods like fruit, vegetables and grains, following good bowel habits and drinking more water are basic lifestyle changes that can make haemorrhoid recovery easier and faster. External haemorrhoids that are considered mild, can disappear in a week’s time with appropriate treatment. Haemorrhoids that last longer or that increase in severity of symptoms must be addressed for medical advice. Haemorrhoids of grade 3 and 4 that stick out of the anal canal are prone to complications like strangulation and clot formation and hence need immediate interventional treatment.

Can you get haemorrhoids from sitting too long on the toilet?

Yes, haemorrhoids are pathologically a result of increased pressure gradient within the haemorrhoid plexus experienced during prolonged sitting on the toilet, straining during defaecation, during pregnancy or labour. This is typically because of the increased intra-abdominal pressure in a person with a history of chronic hard stool that can precipitate haemorrhoid disease. Sitting too long on the toilet causes pressure on the rectum and anus because the rectum lowers down than the rest of the back while positioned on the seat that is cut out. Gravity pulls the blood to pool down and clot in these veins of rectal region. Straining or pushing, along with prolonged sitting causes a higher risk for haemorrhoids.

What are the complications of piles?

people with haemorrhoids can develop complications that include anaemia, blood clots in external haemorrhoids, infection, flaps of skin called skin tags may form that hang from a haemorrhoid that has shrunk and strangulated haemorrhoids develop when muscles in the anus cut off blood flow to a prolapsed internal haemorrhoid. External piles that form closer to the anus and develop further down the anal canal can become inflamed and swollen, with chances of ulcers that can also form on them.

What is the recovery time after Piles surgery?

Recovery after piles surgery can typically last from one to six weeks, the timeline varying on few things that include:

  • method of treatment
  • severity of the haemorrhoids
  • the number of haemorrhoids removed

Recovery from open haemorrhoidectomy can cause pain and discomfort for up to four weeks after the surgery. Most people will be able to resume light activities a week after treatment and resume all normal activities within two to three weeks. There is an advantage in laser surgery for piles after which the patient can resume normal activities within a short span of time, usually 1 to 3 days with much less pain and complications.

What is the cost of piles surgery?

Piles surgery cost will vary depending upon the type of surgery, city, choice of hospital and other factors that affect the cost. With advanced developments in surgical technology, out of the many procedures that have emerged to treat piles, laser surgical procedure is one of the best and safest procedures. The minimum piles laser surgery cost in India is around Rs.42,500 and go up to Rs.1,05,000. The average cost for laser piles surgery is approximately Rs.75,000. Laser treatment is the safest piles surgery available at an affordable cost.

Dr. Karthik Gunasekaran