A hemorrhoid is a condition which results when veins around the anus become swollen and inflamed. It may occur due to constant straining when moving your bowels. There are two types: external when found outside and around your anal opening, and internal when located inside. Hemorrhoids are also classified as 1st degree when they do not protrude outside the anus, 2nd degree when it protrudes but retracts spontaneously, 3rd degree when it can be manually re-inseted, and 4th degree when there is total prolapse and cannot be manually re-inserted.
Treatment largely depends on the severity of the condition during consult. If mild, the usual medical advice given will range from warm tub baths to increasing fiber and water intake so as to prevent more strain during bowel movement. When necessary, a procedure known as rubber band ligation or RBL is done to stop the blood flow to the hemorrhoids and make it shrivel or fall off in about a week or so.
Now, there is a new report from the Cochrane Library, famous for its meta-analyses studies, that for severe hemorrhoids, the treatment of choice is surgery rather than RBL.
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) --- In the long run, surgical removal is the treatment of choice for severe hemorrhoids, according to a review of previous studies.
On the other hand, circling the hemorrhoid with a tiny rubber band, known as rubber band ligation (RBL), is suitable for less severe disease. This approach cuts off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid, so that it eventually sloughs off.
The overall analysis indicated that hemorrhoid symptoms were 68 percent more likely to resolve with surgery than with RBL.
[ Reuters Health, Jul 21 2005 ]