Creams, ointments and suppositories can help relieve swelling and inflammation symptoms in the short-term. A GP may recommend corticosteroid cream for severe inflammation.
Warm (but not hot) sitz baths are a traditional therapy for piles: sit in about 8 cm of warm water for 15 minutes, several times a day, especially after a bowel movement.
Painkillers, such as paracetamol, can help relieve pain caused by piles. Products with local anaesthetic may be prescribed to treat painful haemorrhoids.
If you are constipated, a GP may recommend using a laxative.
However, these treatments do not get rid of the haemorrhoids themselves.
If symptoms persist, your doctor may suggest one of the following procedures. Many can be performed as a day-case:
Injection or sclerotherapy. An internal haemorrhoid can be injected with a solution that creates a scar and closes off the haemorrhoid. The injection will only hurt a little.
Banding. Prolapsed haemorrhoids are often removed using rubber-band ligation. A special tool secures a tiny rubber band around the haemorrhoid, shutting off its blood supply almost instantly. Within a week, the haemorrhoid shrivels and falls off.
Coagulation or cauterisation. Using either an electric probe, a laser beam, or an infrared light, a tiny burn painlessly seals the end of the haemorrhoid, causing it to close off and shrink. This is most useful for prolapsed haemorrhoids.
Surgery. For large internal haemorrhoids or extremely uncomfortable external haemorrhoids (such as thrombosed haemorrhoids that are too painful to live with), your doctor may choose traditional surgery, called haemorrhoidectomy.
The success rate for haemorrhoid removal approaches 95%, but unless dietary and lifestyle changes are made, haemorrhoids may recur.
Consult surgeon for further evaluation and treatment.
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