Piles, also called haemorrhoids are caused as a result of bulging of veins in the lower part of the anus and rectum. When the veins bulge, the walls of the veins gets stretched, irritated and bleed. Piles are classified into internal and external types. As the name suggests, internal piles occur inside the anal canal. They can grow and come out of the anus some times. External piles grow at the very end of the anus. Piles treatment can be done with surgical and non-surgical options depending on their type.
Home therapies to ease the symptoms of piles
With home treatment options, the symptoms of piles such as pain, bleeding can be managed. Treatment will require a doctor’s intervention. Some of the home therapies are:
- Topical creams & ointments – Creams or suppositories containing hydrocortisone can be applied to the affected area. They act as numbing agent giving temporary relief from pain. Pads containing witch hazel are also available that can be applied to give relief from pain.
- Applying ice packs – Ice packs can be applied to the affected area to reduce swelling of piles.
- Sitz bath with warm water – Sitz bath is a container like dish placed on top of the toilet. Fill it with warm water and sitting on it can give relief from burning and itching sensation.
- Using moist towels – Using dry paper to wipe off your bottom can be painful when suffering from piles. Using moist towels or wet tissues can make you feel better.
- Using pain killers – Medicines such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen can provide relief from pain.
Rubber band ligation
Rubber band ligation is another non-surgical way to treat piles. But this can be applied only to internal haemorrhoids. The procedure involves tying a rubber band at the base of the piles. This cuts off the blood flow to the haemorrhoid and as a result, it either shrinks or dries up and falls off.
Rubber band ligation procedure is done using a small tube with a camera called ‘anoscope’. This is inserted into the anus of the patient. Once the haemorrhoid is located, it is grasped and a rubber band is tied at the base. Typically the banded piles fall off in a week. The scar will form at the area so that the veins don’t bulge into the anal canal.
This is done as an outpatient procedure. Typically one or two haemorrhoids are tied with rubber bands. When the patient is under general anaesthesia, more haemorrhoids will be banded. Your doctor may suggest to treat them in batches spaced a month apart. In case if the band is too tight, numbing injection in the piles area may be given to the patient. If the symptoms continue to persist after all the piles are banded and drops off, surgical treatment may be the next option.
In sclerotherapy too, the idea is to cut off the blood supply to the haemorrhoids. In this procedure, a hardening chemical solution is injected at the base of the pile that scars the tissue and cuts off the blood supply. As the blood supply is cut off, the piles shrink. This can be done for multiple piles at the same time. This is relatively safer and less painful procedure. Patient may see little blood in their stool for the first couple of days after treatment.
Sclerotherapy is considered when Rubber band ligation procedure can’t be used. For rubber band ligation, the pile has to be large enough to put up the band. Sclerotherapy can be used to treat smaller piles.
Electrotherapy is applied for smaller piles which are not good candidates for banding. This procedure involves applying electric current to the piles to destroy it. This is done with help of an instrument called ‘proctoscope’ which is used to locate the pile. Then, another probe is used to hold the pile and apply electric current to it. The electric current applied thickens the blood in the pile, effectively cutting off any further supply of blood. As a result, the piles start shrinking.
Electrotherapy can be applied to multiple piles in the same session. Mild pain is common and blood may be seen when passing stools in the initial days after treatment.
Infrared Photocoagulation Therapy to treat piles
This procedure is similar to electrotherapy conceptually. Instead of using electric current, heat from high intensity infrared light is used to make a scar tissue at the base of the pile cutting off the blood flow to it. This therapy is used to small and medium sized piles. Typically only one pile is treated at a time and rest of the treatment sessions will be scheduled 2 weeks apart.
Pain and heat will be felt in the area after the procedure. They are managed by medications prescribed by your doctor.
Chennai laser gastro clinic, being the best piles treatment hospital in Chennai, provides world-class scar-free laser technology to get rid of your piles without any pain. Book your appointment now!
Also read: Why surgery for piles could be the best treatment option?