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Hemorrhoids Are Common, Preventable and Treatable
Date:2/15/2013

Lerner said.

Other common symptoms of hemorrhoids include the following:

  • itching (especially when sitting)
  • bright red blood on toilet tissue, stool or in the toilet (Dark red or black blood could be a sign of a more serious condition.)
  • painful bowel movements
  • hard, sore lumps near the anus

Hemorrhoids can be treated with several over-the-counter creams and other remedies. "These products may help you feel more comfortable, but they won't get rid of the underlying hemorrhoids, such as internal hemorrhoids, that commonly cause bleeding," Lerner noted.

Soaking in a warm bath regularly for 10 to 15 minutes and using wet toilet paper after a bowel movement can also ease mild symptoms of hemorrhoids, according to Dr. Rajat Malik, a gastroenterologist with the FDA.

"With these measures, mild symptoms should decrease in two to seven days," advised Malik in the news release. "If your symptoms don't improve with these home treatments, and certainly if they get worse, it's time to talk to your health care provider."

There are a number of procedures doctors can perform to treat hemorrhoids. For instance, where a hemorrhoid has a blood clot (thrombosis), doctors can remove the clot with a small incision.

"You can do this under local anesthesia and as an outpatient," Lerner said. "I've had a lot of uncomfortable, unhappy patients walk into my office with a thrombosis, and then leave happy after it's been excised."

Other procedures used to treat hemorrhoids include:

  • Ligation: a hemorrhoid's blood supply is cut off with a rubber band.
  • Sclerotherapy: a chemical solution is injected into a hemorrhoid to shrink it.
  • Coagulation: a laser or infrared light is used to shrink a hemorrhoid.
  • Hemorrhoidectomy: a surgical procedure used in more extreme cases to remove large hemorrhoids.

"FDA is responsible for reviewing the devi
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