Hemorrhoid Doctor: A Guide to Receiving Medical Treatment for Hemorrhoids
Posted on 17 December 2017 by Maryanne Johnson
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Hemorrhoids are fairly common in most adults from time to time.
Although the topic is one of the less discussed medical conditions, it is usually accompanied by painful medical symptoms that can bring unease and discomfort.
In most cases, you may decide to treat hemorrhoids with an over-the-counter medication.
Should I go to the Doctor for Hemorrhoids?
When exactly is the right time to do this?
It is perfectly okay to head to your hemorrhoid doctor if you experience hemorrhoids irrespective of the extent of the pain and location of the hemorrhoid.
However, due to how common hemorrhoids are, many people will often elect to try some self-medications that are usually effective in controlling and treating the condition.
External hemorrhoids can very painful especially if they become thrombosed (1).
If your hemorrhoids do not shrink or relief you after a few applications with everyday solutions like Tuck pads or Witch hazel pads, it just might be time to go to see your doctor.
If you experience any type of rectal bleeding, and pass stool that look maroon in color, it is a sign of continued bleeding and a Doctor should be visited in this case also.
If you initially developed an internal hemorrhoid and the lump inside the anus enlarges or becomes more painful it is best to see a doctor.
You should also consult on your hemorrhoids when a tissue from inside the anal canal bulges out. This is called a prolapsed hemorrhoid.
If it does not return or you cannot push it back in manually, you should immediately see a doctor.
What kind of Doctor do I need to see for my hemorrhoids?
A number of medical practitioners and doctors are all experienced and qualified to manage your hemorrhoids.
You may speak to the following types of medical professionals or doctors for hemorrhoids:
- General Practicioner
- General Surgeon
For Pregnant mothers who are prone to experiencing hemorrhoids in their third trimester, a Gynecologist may be the best person to visit considering these hemorrhoids are most likely present due to the increased pressure of pregnancy on the rectal and anal muscles.
Hemorrhoids during pregnancy can be very difficult to deal with. If you are pregnant with hemorrhoids, worry not, our hemorrhoids during pregnancy guide will help you manage your hemorrhoids in the best possible way.
Depending on the treatment, surgery may or may not be required.
A Colorectal surgeon or Proctologist may be required in severe cases that require operating on your hemorrhoids.
Most of these procedures can be performed in the doctor’s office to help shrink or remove the hemorrhoids.
Laser hemorrhoid surgery is also an option for your hemorrhoids, and you will want to make sure you choose an experienced hemorrhoid doctor when opting for laser hemorrhoid surgery.
What is the Best Doctor for Hemorrhoid Surgery?
There are many reasons you may see a doctor for your hemorrhoids. But, some cases may require you seek treatment from a doctor who specializes in the treatment of conditions that affect the rectum or anus.
While a proctologist is commonly known as the specialist to handle these types of conditions, it is actually a gastroenterologist that treats hemorrhoids.
Gastroenterologists diagnose and treat conditions that affect the digestive tract. This can include the:
- Small intestines
- The ducts between all these organs
Gastroenterologists are also referred to as GI doctors. They are trained in general internal medicine, but they have further training in conditions that affect the gastrointestinal tract.
They perform the endoscopic procedures that diagnose many GI disorders, including hemorrhoids.
Gastroenterologists perform most of the common treatments used to remove hemorrhoids:
- Diagnose your hemorrhoids
- Prescribe medication to treat your hemorrhoids
- Perform minimally invasive procedures to remove hemorrhoids
A Gastroenterologist will treat many of the conditions that cause hemorrhoids, including:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Bowel changes
Some gastroenterologists perform surgery under anesthesia. In more severe cases, your GI doctor may refer you to a proctologist, or colorectal surgeon.
Most patients who see a colorectal surgeon must see a GI doctor first for a referral.
How Do I Know My Condition Warrants a Doctor Visit?
This is one of the most common questions patients with hemorrhoids ask before seeing a doctor.
While all the symptoms of hemorrhoids can be irritating and leave you in serious discomfort, there are some telltale signs that you need to seek the advice of a medical professional.
Here are the signs from hemorrhoids that let you know you need to see a doctor:
- The presence of any type of rectal bleeding - While this is common amongst patients with hemorrhoids, there are some underlying conditions that can present with this symptom as well. Because these conditions are more severe, it is important to have your doctor diagnose your hemorrhoids properly to eliminate the idea that there is another condition causing the bleeding.
- Pain or discomfort that can’t be ignored
- Persistence of your symptoms despite at-home remedies and over-the-counter treatments
- Black, maroon, or tarry looking stool, this can be a sign of rectal bleeding
How do Doctors check for hemorrhoids?
There are many methods for diagnosing hemorrhoids. Your Doctor may be able to tell that you have an external hemorrhoid by simply looking while internal hemorrhoids can be diagnosed by using a few procedures to examine your rectum and anal canal.
One of the ways of checking for internal hemorrhoids is by digital examination (2).
In this procedure, your doctor will put some medical gloves on and insert a lubricated finger into your rectum.
Your doctor will then proceed to see if there is anything unusual such as lump and growths and the result from this examination will suggest if there is need for further testing.
A visual inspection may be needed in some cases as internal hemorrhoids are often very soft. During a visual exam, an anoscope, sigmidoscope or proctoscope may be used.
Will My Doctor Use a Colonoscopy to Diagnose My Hemorrhoid?
If your doctor feels something unusual or wants to look further to ensure accuracy in their diagnosis, they may perform a colonoscopy.
A colonoscopy gives your doctor the ability to examine your entire colon. A colonoscopy is performed at a medical treatment center or hospital under anesthesia.
During the procedure, your doctor will insert a small medical camera into the rectum to look closer at what is going on inside the rectum.
How to Find a Hemorrhoids Doctor Near Me
There are many ways to find a hemorrhoid doctor in your area. For starters, your primary care physician is a great place to start.
Not only can they treat your hemorrhoids, they can refer you to a specialist if there is a need.
Because some insurance companies require a referral to cover the expenses associated with specialists, you may be required to see your general practitioner first.
Although hemorrhoids are extremely common, most patients don’t like to talk about the fact that they have them.
Close family members you are comfortable with may have suggestions for a hemorrhoid doctor.
If you don’t feel comfortable talking to a family member about hemorrhoid treatment, there are many online websites that review medical providers.
Search for “hemorrhoid doctors near me” online. Online review sites like Yelp and Google can show real reviews from patients who have experience working directly with the provider you are looking at.
Do some research on the provider and their medical practice.
You want to find a hemorrhoid doctor that has both the ability to treat your condition effectively and the experience to give you the confidence in your provider.
What can my Doctor do for hemorrhoids?
There are many ways that hemorrhoids can be handled and treated. These options vary depending on the condition, severity and location of the hemorrhoids. Below are methods that may be employed to treat your hemorrhoids.
Internal hemorrhoids may be injected with a solution that causes a scar to be formed and close off the hemorrhoids. This procedure will only hurt a little but is usually very effective.
2. Cauterization or Coagulation
This method is a painless method of burning off, removing and sealing the end of the hemorrhoids with an electric probe, infrared light or laser beam.
The Coagulation method allows the hemorrhoid to close and shrink and is most effective for treating prolapsed hemorrhoids.
3. Rubber band ligation
Rubber band ligations are also mostly employed in cases of prolapsed hemorrhoids as well as protruding internal hemorrhoids that have been pushed outside (3).
In this treatment, the doctor will put a small rubber band around the hemorrhoid to cut off blood supply to the tissues therein.
Rubber band ligations will usually cause the hemorrhoid to dry up, shrink in size and fall due to the unavailability of blood.
4. Surgery or Hemorrhoidectomy
For large internal or external hemorrhoids that keep on worsening and bring excruciating discomfort to the patient, a surgical procedure may be required to remove the hemorrhoids or a newer technique using staples may be applied.
Most of these medical treatments are effective in treating hemorrhoids.
However, if you do not adopt a healthier lifestyle, you could be in trouble.
Less constipation is achieved through the following:
- proper hydration and consumption of fiber-rich meals,
- adoption of better toilet hygiene
- reduced pressure on the anal system through the consumption of better foods
- not forcing bowel movements
Addressing the causes of your hemorrhoids can help you determine if you actually need surgery or not.
It's possible your hemorrhoid may be caused by something as simple as sitting for too long or poor toilet habits.
What Else Works For Hemorrhoids?
Once you determine your hemorrhoids causes, you can begin working to prevent them from flaring up.
DIY Witch hazel extracts or medical pads work great.
They help to soothe the area, reduce swelling and inflammation with their astringent, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
We've compiled a list of the best hemorrhoid products below.
There are a handful of risk factors that increases one’s predisposition to the condition such as constipation, pregnancies, diet and hydration, and the manifestation of hemorrhoids may appear in two to three forms.
There are many different causes of hemorrhoids, and each person may have more than one cause.
The least painful manifestation of hemorrhoids is the internal hemorrhoids that may sometimes pass without any serious hemorrhoid pain or discomfort.
There are also instances where hemorrhoids are developed externally or cases where internal hemorrhoid are pushed outward by stool or harsh physical interactions.
Severe cases are experienced when external hemorrhoids become thrombosed and treating thrombosed hemorrhoids may require incision and laceration to drain the hemorrhoid and provide hemorrhoid relief to the patient.
If your thrombosed hemorrhoid bursts and bleeds, it might bleed for 10 seconds or less. If it bleeds longer than that or there is a lot of blood you should see a doctor immediately.
Hemorrhoid Surgery vs Hemorrhoid Products
There are many different hemorrhoid products you can use to get rid of your current hemorrhoids and reduce flare-ups. These products are much cheaper than hemorrhoid surgery and can be just as cost effective. These include:
Here is a full list of the best hemorrhoid products.