Internal hemorrhoids are common, and you can have them and not know it since the internal type of hemorrhoids doesn't usually cause any pain. However, they can bleed or prolapse when you move your bowels and be bothersome. If the hemorrhoids give you problems, your doctor might recommend a procedure to get rid of them. Here are some internal hemorrhoid treatments your doctor might discuss with you.
Banding is a common treatment for internal hemorrhoids. With this, your doctor uses a tool that can slip a small rubber band over your hemorrhoids. This shuts off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid so it shrivels and falls off in several days.
Your doctor needs to treat each individual hemorrhoid with a band if the hemorrhoid is to be removed. However, the procedure is quick, and it shouldn't be painful since your doctor can numb the area with an anesthetic first.
Stapling is a similar procedure that uses staples instead of rubber bands. While banding might be done in your doctor's office, stapling is a surgical procedure that's done as an outpatient. Stapling is done on prolapsed hemorrhoids. The hemorrhoid is moved back inside your rectum and sutured to hold it in place, and then the hemorrhoid is stapled to cut off its blood supply.
You may have pain and discomfort after this procedure. Your doctor will provide recovery instructions such as changing your diet, drinking more water, and exercising to prevent constipation while you heal.
Another internal hemorrhoid treatment your doctor might recommend is sclerotherapy. This involves injecting a chemical into your hemorrhoid that causes it to scar. The scar blocks the blood supply so that the hemorrhoid shrivels and falls off after several days. However, it might take multiple injections over several visits to get results. This treatment is fairly quick and painless.
Lasers can sometimes be used to remove internal hemorrhoids at the base. The laser also seals the area so bleeding is minimal. Laser treatment takes several minutes, but you shouldn't feel any discomfort since your rectum is numbed first.
When you visit the doctor for an evaluation for internal hemorrhoid treatment, the severity of your hemorrhoids is graded. The higher the grade, the more pronounced the problem is with prolapsing. The grade applied to your hemorrhoids determines the appropriate treatment. The most severe cases of prolapse may require surgical removal, and this type of hemorrhoid surgery can be painful and require a longer recovery period.
That's why it's a good idea to see your doctor when you experience bleeding with your bowel movements or notice a prolapse, even if the prolapse corrects itself after your bowel movement. Early treatment for internal hemorrhoids is quicker, easier, and less painful than undergoing removal surgery.