What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are cushions located in the upper part of the anal canal. We have a total of 3 internal hemorrhoidal nodules, and their function is to aid in anal continence. It is necessary to be attentive if they suffer a change in size or become loose, because then they should be treated.
What types of hemorrhoids are there?
Depending on the classification, one treatment or another will be determined.
Depending on their location:
- External hemorrhoids: they arise from the inferior hemorrhoidal plexus. They are the visible part of the anus and covered with skin. They have little clinical repercussion.
- Internal hemorrhoids: arise from the upper hemorrhoid plexus. They are inside the anal canal and covered with mucosa; they are not usually visible. These are the ones that when they grow, produce symptoms and must be treated. We have 4 degrees:
- Grade I: minimal bulging in the anal canal, they never come out.
- Grade II: they protrude from the anus during defecation, but are spontaneously reduced at the end of defecation.
- Grade III: prolapse both during defecation and spontaneously; they must be reduced manually.
- Grade IV: they always remain outside; it is impossible to reduce them manually.
What are the causes?
Hemorrhoids occur due to a weakness of the connective and elastic tissues of the hemorrhoidal cushions. It may result from being born with this defect or from exposure to factors such as constipation, sedentary lifestyle or alcohol abuse among other factors.
What are the symptoms like?
The most common sign is bleeding during defecation. We can observe it on the paper, stool or even in the toilet bowl. Other symptoms are itching, stinging, sensation of heaviness, sensation of incomplete evacuation, appearance of perianal lumps. They do not produce intense pain, in those cases we would be talking about other pathologies.
How is the treatment?
Treatment depends on the type of hemorrhoid.
- Grade I and II: usually do not need treatment. If for some reason they produce recurrent bleeding, it can be treated with: sclerosis with polidocanol foam (prick an irritating substance inside the hemorrhoid) or Banding (place an elastic rubber band in the hemorrhoidal nodule).
- Grade III and IV: surgical treatment. The newest and most successful current technique is the CO2 laser hemorrhoidectomy. It consists of the complete removal of the diseased hemorrhoidal nodule with the CO2 laser.
What are the advantages of the CO2 laser?
In surgery of the anus (proctology) the type of laser indicated is the CO2 laser. It is the most advanced surgical treatment we can offer to patients for the following reasons:
- It allows the complete removal of hemorrhoids.
- Little post-operative pain.
- Smaller wounds with less inflammation.
- Shorter healing time.
- Quicker return to normal life and work.