What are haemorrhoids?
Cavernous bodies are grouped around the anus in the rectum. These are anatomical structures that help the anus close tightly, however, due to various causes that increase pressure in the abdomen, these bodies increase in size, hypertrophy occurs and can even lead to bleeding, pain or other unpleasant sensations in the anus. When these cavernous bodies are enlarged and swollen, they are known as haemorrhoids.
What causes haemorrhoids?
Haemorrhoids are caused by chronic constipation, diarrhoea, frequent contraction of the muscles during a bowel movement, pregnancy, insufficiency of vein valves, long-term work in a seated or standing position, lifting heavy weights and weakness of connective tissue. Hereditary factors, older age and being overweight can also have an influence.
What are the symptoms of haemorrhoids?
Bleeding just before or after defecation is a symptom experienced by 90% of patients. Prolapsed haemorrhoids only occur in about 40% of cases. Tautness, pain, itching and other unpleasant sensations in the anus region are very rare, however, they can be the first symptoms of the disease.
How are haemorrhoids treated?
Depending on the grade of the disease, haemorrhoids can be managed conservatively (with adjustments of diet, lifestyle and medication) or with invasive non-surgical treatment (painless laser coagulation of the haemorrhoids arteries is performed (HeLP surgery)). If the haemorrhoids have developed further, they are treated by invasive surgery with anaesthesia. A laser haemorrhoidoplasty (LHP surgery) or an open Milligan-Morgan haemorrhoidectomy can be performed. The haemorrhoid grade and most appropriate treatment method should be determined by an experienced proctologist.
What steps should you take if you have noticed the aforementioned symptoms?
You should see a proctologist. During your first appointment, the proctologist will hear out your complaints and determine the duration and nature of the disease. If necessary, they will examine your anus and conduct a manual or endoscopic examination of the anal canal. The proctologist might also send you for additional testing if it is necessary, or if a different disease is suspected.
How should I prepare for an appointment with the proctologist?
Perform an enema 2 hours before the appointment (repeated-use enema kits sold in pharmacies are the most suitable for this purpose).