Is Lancing a Hemorrhoid Safe? Discover the How to Drain Hemorrhoids
Posted on 31 July 2018 by Maryanne Johnson
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Do you want to learn about lancing hemorrhoids? In this post we will talk about how to drain hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids send millions of Americans to seek medical attention each year, and while the numbers are staggering in reported doctor’s visits, it could be many more.
Hemorrhoids, for most, are considered a humiliating condition because of the unsightly lumps that form around the anus, embarrassing anal discharge, and worrisome rectal bleeding. This is perhaps why while so many adult Americans get hemorrhoids, only so few seek help.
It is essential to know everything you can about hemorrhoids because chances are, you will develop a hemorrhoid at some point in your life.
About half of every adult gets hemorrhoids, and if you are aware of the signs, you can treat them early enough to resolve them more quickly.
Draining hemorrhoids, while not a pleasant topic, is a necessary one. If you know the signs of what type of hemorrhoid requires drainage, the risk factors behind a thrombosed hemorrhoid, and what you can do on your end to help with draining a hemorrhoid, then the less pain you will have to endure.
Although this common rectal disease is not considered fatal, if it goes untreated, you could have continual bouts of hemorrhoids through your adult life.
You don’t know what you don’t know, and if you fail to start a conversation with your doctor about hemorrhoid flare-ups, then you will remain in the dark about methods of prevention that could be simple to enact.
What Does it Mean to Drain a Hemorrhoid?
It can be tempting to attempt to “fix” your hemorrhoids in the privacy of your own home without having to fess up to your doctor about your anorectal problems.
Just know that lancing your hemorrhoid is very dangerous. You should always seek medical treatment before you do so.
However, you won’t be doing yourself any favors if you attempt this on your own, without your doctor’s professional medical assistance.
Hemorrhoids are a collection of soft, conjoining tissues, an intertwining of muscles, arteries, and essential rectal veins, and all of these crucial parts of the rectum have become inflamed for one reason or another, forming sacs and protrusions of the anal mucosa.
After learning about what hemorrhoids are composed of, it doesn't make sense to try to drain a protrusion containing necessary but irritated parts of the sensitive anal cushion.
Draining is done for a thrombosed hemorrhoid, which alludes to a blood clot forming inside a hemorrhoid.
A blood clot that forms inside an artery or a vein severely limits the blood flow, and this can result in excruciating pain.
And a blood clot inside of an already painful external hemorrhoid makes everything ten times worse.
When people or doctors discuss having to drain a hemorrhoid, they are referring to a thrombosed hemorrhoid, where the blood has collected and pooled, blocking circulation and flow.
People choose to have thrombosed hemorrhoids drained, and this is because it can be so painful to walk or try to use the bathroom.
A doctor can lance a thrombosed hemorrhoid open or sometimes it will rupture or go away on its own.
Your doctor can determine if you have thrombosed hemorrhoids by simple visual inspection or an examination where he or she feels the protrusions to decide whether it is an external thrombosed hemorrhoid.
What Type of Hemorrhoid Requires Draining?
There are categories of hemorrhoids, and many people do not realize that hemorrhoids can be hidden away inside the lower anal canal. Internal hemorrhoids are the sneakier type, and often, you won't know you have an internal hemorrhoid at all.
These hemorrhoids are tucked away in the lowest part of your rectum. As with so many other diseases, internal hemorrhoids can begin at a mild state and progress into complications, like a prolapse through the rectum.
Prolapsed hemorrhoids are divided into degrees of state of the protrusion. Sometimes, in more severe hemorrhoid prolapse cases, you may find that the entire column of hemorrhoid has fallen through the rectum.
Surgeries and rubber band ligation treatment are often required for higher-rated grades.
If you have a prolapsed internal hemorrhoid, do not try to “drain” it. This type of hemorrhoid should not be drained. A prolapsed hemorrhoid can be gently guided back inside of the rectum with your fingers.
Out of the two types of hemorrhoids, it is an external hemorrhoid that requires draining, but only if it is thrombosed.
Thrombosis of a hemorrhoid should be treated as quickly as possible, and when you have a thrombosed hemorrhoid, that is precisely what you will want to do because the pain can be unbearable.
How Do You Drain Hemorrhoids Safely?
There is a specific procedure which doctors perform to drain hemorrhoids. It is called an external thrombectomy. In performing this procedure, doctors will administer an anesthetic, directly to the area where the surgery is to be completed.
Inserting a needle to this injection site is incredibly painful, and many patients will avoid telling their doctors about their thrombosed hemorrhoids because they realize the procedure will produce sharp, stinging pain.
Although, it should be noted that patients do have a say in the anesthesia used during their procedure. In a study completed in 2003, 340 patients underwent excision of thrombosed hemorrhoids under local anesthesia, and 11% stated they would prefer another means of anesthesia if a repeat excision were required.
The doctor then takes a unique incision tool to make a small cut on the external hemorrhoid. The blood pools out of the incision and drains, thus dismantling the blood clot located inside of the hemorrhoid.
Complications of an external thrombectomy are:
- Painful bowel movements
- Postoperative bleeding
- Urinary retention
- Narrowing of the anal canal (anal stenosis)
If you should experience any of these side effects following the drainage of your thrombosed hemorrhoid, contact your doctor immediately. There is also a risk of an infection forming if post-operative care instructions are not followed.
Should I Drain My Hemorrhoids?
Do not drain your hemorrhoids yourself. Draining hemorrhoids requires the precision, tools, and medical knowledge of a trained medical professional, such as your doctor or gastroenterologist.
The rectal area is full of sensitive, pain-feeling nerves, and this is why a thrombosed hemorrhoid is so inhibiting and extraordinarily painful. Trying to lance and drain your external hemorrhoid on your own will only inflict further pain and damage to this already aching and throbbing area.
Considering an External Thrombectomy
There is an argument in the scientific community concerning the necessity of draining hemorrhoids. Studies have suggested that a more conservative approach to thrombosed hemorrhoids may be the preferred method of treatment with both patients and surgeons.
One specific study from 2009 suggests an alternative method of approach to thrombosed hemorrhoids, stating that the actual effectiveness of performing excisions on thrombosed hemorrhoids is unknown.
The argument suggests that many patients with thrombosed hemorrhoids do not report their symptoms of immense pain and discomfort to their doctor until days later, often waiting an extended period to monitor change.
Patients tend to do this because they know that a surgical procedure that drains the thrombosed hemorrhoids is going to be just as painful as having them.
Some patients would instead opt to monitor symptoms at home before committing themselves to this aggressive removal of the blood clot.
External thrombectomies are referred to as a “gold standard” treatment approach to thrombosed hemorrhoids, but there could be a lack of accurate data concerning how effective draining an external hemorrhoid truly is.
The same 2009 study suggested that the only reason why draining a thrombosed hemorrhoid through a surgical procedure was deemed successful with fewer reoccurrences was because patients directly did not report a reoccurrence to their doctor to avoid having to have this procedure done again.
The question posed is that if symptoms of a thrombosed hemorrhoid typically resolve themselves within a few days to a week, then why subject patients to surgery? This is a meaningful conversation that the scientific community is still pursuing an answer.
Regardless of the answer to this question of surgical intervention for thrombosed hemorrhoids, you should still keep your hemorrhoid doctor updated and involved with your condition. A medically advised treatment will prevent the risk of infection and the hemorrhoids from worsening, no matter if surgery is performed or not.