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If you suffer from hemorrhoids, you should know that more than half the U.S. population, usually after age 30, will have the same problem.72 One of the most common medical conditions, hemorrhoids are the swelling and inflammation of veins in the rectum or anus. More than half a million people seek treatment for them every year.

One of the most common causes of hemorrhoids is constipation. Because of the straining during bowel movements, the veins can swell and become inflamed. This is also common in pregnant women due to the strain of carrying and birthing a baby. Often, hemorrhoids are a temporary condition but can be made worse by obesity, standing or lifting too much, and other factors.

Treating hemorrhoids

A variety of treatments exist for hemorrhoids, from changes in diet and lifestyle to over-the-counter medicines. There is also a process (called scleropathy) for shrinking veins by injecting them with special chemicals, or rubber bands may be placed around them. But if hemorrhoids persist, recur, or are causing other health complications, your doctor may recommend you have surgery to remove them.

There are two common types of surgical procedures to treat hemorrhoids. One is the more traditional procedure of a hemorrhoidectomy or the permanent removal of hemorrhoids. The other procedure is called a hemorrhoidopexy or procedure for prolapsed hemorrhoids, this procedure has shown to have less postoperative pain and faster recovery than conventional hemorrhoid surgery75, click here for more information.

Talk to your Doctor

Talking to your doctor about hemorrhoids

It’s important for you to learn as much about your condition and treatment options as possible, and your doctor is your best resource. These questions can help you start the conversation:

  • What are the risk factors for hemorrhoids?
  • What type of treatment do you recommend to correct the problem?
  • Is surgery an option for treatment?
  • What are the risks associated with the treatment?
  • What can I do to reduce my risk for having this problem again?

Hemorrhoids resources

Learn more about hemorrhoids and possible treatment options with these resources.

  • American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS)
  • The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons is a national association of colon and rectal surgeons focused on the treatment of diseases and disorders affecting the colon, rectum, and anus.
  • http://www.fascrs.org
  • American Gastroenterological Association
  • The American Gastroenterological Association is a non-profit organization with more than 14,500 physician and scientist members who research, diagnose and treat disorders of the gastrointestinal tract and liver.
  • http://www.gastro.org/
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