Hemorrhoidal tissue is actually a natural part of everyone’s normal anatomy. The tissue, which lies within the anal canal and perianal area, consists of blood vessels. And it’s when these veins become engorged and swollen that uncomfortable, even painful, symptoms occur. Known as the varicose veins of the digestive tract, hemorrhoids can be internal (inside the anus) or external (under the skin around the anus). Hemorrhoids become more common as people age. In addition, pregnancy, obesity, sitting for long periods of time, chronic constipation, or heavy lifting are also common factors that can also contribute to the development of hemorrhoids.
Common symptoms of hemorrhoids include:
• Bleeding during bowel movements
• Itching or irritation in the anal region
• Pain, discomfort, swelling, a lump in the anal region
The first step is determining and addressing the underlying cause of a patient’s hemorrhoids. For example, if constipation is the issue, dietary changes may be recommended. As for treating the hemorrhoids themselves, Dr. Loria always opts for conservative methods as the first-line approach, which in most cases are usually effective. These include warm baths, over-the-counter topical creams, or suppositories.
If conservative measures aren’t successful, Dr. Loria may recommend hemorrhoid energy therapy or HET. This is a minimally invasive, painless and highly effective procedure. The HET bipolar system uses low-temperature heat energy to decrease blood flow to the area and reduce inflammation. This treatment can be performed with or without sedation, is painless, and entails no downtime. All internal hemorrhoids can be eliminated at the same time, and are unlikely to return. Dr. Loria performs HET at his state-of-the-art facility, Carnegie Hill Endoscopy, located on Lexington Avenue between 97th and 98th street.
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