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7 Ways to Treat Hemorrhoids Without Surgery


It’s estimated that nearly half of all people over 50 will have hemorrhoids at some point.

Not everyone has symptoms, but for those who do, swollen, inflamed veins in the rectum or around the anus can be itchy and uncomfortable. Worse, they may cause pain, swelling, and bleeding.

In rare, severe cases, hemorrhoid surgery may be the best treatment option. But, for most people with hemorrhoids, non-surgical treatments are very effective at relieving symptoms or removing the source.

At-Home Treatments

You can take steps at home to treat the uncomfortable symptoms of occasional hemorrhoids. However, if at-home treatments haven’t relieved your symptoms after a week, it’s best to see a doctor.

1. Over-the-counter medicines

Over-the-counter creams, ointments, wipes, and medicated pads can relieve symptoms like itching, burning, and swelling. Some contain medications like hydrocortisone or witch hazel to reduce swelling, itching, or lidocaine to numb the pain. Pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen may also help.

2. Warm soak (sitz bath)

Soaking your anal area in a few inches of warm water for about 15 minutes several times a day can help reduce swelling, soothe the area, and relax the sphincter muscles. Pharmacies sell basins that fit over the toilet seat, but a bathtub works just as well.

3. Stool softeners

Straining to pass stool can cause hemorrhoids and can be painful when you have hemorrhoids. A stool softener can reduce the need to strain and make stool easier to pass. Be careful not to take a laxative instead. Laxatives can cause diarrhea, which could cause more irritation.

4. Cold compress

A cold compress or ice pack on the anal area can relieve swelling and ease discomfort. Apply it for 15 minutes at a time, and be careful not to put ice directly on your skin. Wrap ice in a paper towel or washcloth first.

5. Non-Surgical Medical Treatments

When home treatments like hemorrhoid creams and soaks don’t work, your doctor might recommend a minimally invasive in-office procedure, depending on the severity.
These treatments are only for internal hemorrhoids. The severity of your hemorrhoids may determine which procedure is best for you.

6. Hemorrhoid Banding (Rubber Band Ligation)

Using a small lighted scope, your doctor inserts a special tool that places rubber bands around the base of the hemorrhoid. The rubber band squeezes the hemorrhoid, cutting off its blood supply. Without blood flow, the hemorrhoid will shrink until it drops off in a week or two, usually with a bowel movement.
Hemorrhoid banding is typically a quick and safe procedure with minimal discomfort.

7. Laser, infrared, or bipolar coagulation

All three of these methods stop blood flow to the hemorrhoids using heat.
Infrared light or laser pulses are directed at the hemorrhoid. This generates heat directly on the hemorrhoid tissue, causing it to shrivel up and fall off.
Bipolar coagulation uses a special tool that applies gentle tissue compression along with low heat energy to shrink hemorrhoids.
Your doctor can discuss the risks and benefits of each and recommend your best treatment option.

8. Sclerotherapy (Injection)

Sclerotherapy closes off the hemorrhoid from its blood supply, causing it to shrink.
The doctor injects a chemical solution around the hemorrhoid to damage the blood vessels that supply it. The solution causes scarring and shrinkage in the hemorrhoid.
Sclerotherapy is typically most successful for small hemorrhoids and may take several treatments to be effective.

When to See a Doctor About Hemorrhoids

Most hemorrhoids can be treated successfully at home. But if you’re having any of the following symptoms, you should call your doctor for an assessment:

  • Bleeding from the rectum
  • Change in bowel habits, such as a feeling like you can’t empty your bowels
  • Leaking stool
  • Prolapsed hemorrhoid (falls outside the anal opening during a bowel movement)
  • Severe pain or swelling

Or, if at-home treatments have not helped after a week.

Don’t suffer from itchy, uncomfortable hemorrhoids any longer – schedule an appointment today!


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