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Last Updated: Nov 29, 2022
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Piles: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Cost

About Types Symptoms Causes Prevention Diagnosis and Tests Questions Ask to Doctor What do piles look like? What do piles feel like? Complications Treatment Surgical Treatments Diet Follow Diet Unfollow Consultation Recovery Price Results Eligibility Ineligibility Post-Treatment Guidelines Outlook
Piles: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Cost

What are Piles (Hemorrhoids)?

Piles, also known as hemorrhoids, have always been construed to be an embarrassing health condition that sufferers tend not to speak and share about with anyone.

Do you know what piles are? Let us explain! The anus of every person is lined with spongy tissue supplied with blood vessels, which are also known as the anal cushions. They aid in closing the anus. This is the normal condition, but sometimes, they develop into piles.

Piles look like round, small and discoloured lumps, which a person can feel on his/her anus or protrude from the anal canal. Anal canal is the short yet mascular tube consisting blood vessels that work as a bridge between the rectum and the anus.

In medical terms, piles or hemorrhoids is a condition in which the veins swell up in the lower rectum and anus of a person. The swelling also leads to localised inflammation of other tissues.

Piles is a very common condition but the symptoms of the condition are not always apparent. A study in the United States suggests that about half of people above the age of 50 years experience noticeable symptoms of hemorrhoids.

Types of Piles (Hemorrhoids)

The signs and symptoms of piles depend upon its type. There are three types of hemorrhoids. Please have a look:

What are the symptoms of Piles?

As already explained, piles don't always cause pain or symptoms, but the signs may include:

  1. Bleeding while pooping.
  2. Lump inside or around the anal region.
  3. A smelly discharge of mucus from the anus, leaving a stain on your underwear.
  4. Constant feel of fullness and discomfort in the anus.
  5. Feeling of incomplete evacuation of bowel after you have been to toilet.
  6. Severe itch or sore skin around your anus
  7. Pain or discomfort after going to toilet
  8. Infection
  9. Fecal incontinence

The symptoms of piles in men and the symptoms of piles in women are very similar. These symptoms can vary from person to person. Internal piles symptoms and external piles symptoms are also very similar to each other. To understand your condition better, you should see a doctor once you experience any early symptoms of piles or hemorrhoids.

Moreover, these symptoms can also arise due to inflammatory bowel disease, anal fissures (tear), anal cancer and bowel cancer. If you are experiencing any of the above discussed symptoms, you should immediately see your doctor to figure out the actual problem.

What Causes Piles?

Do you know what is the main cause of piles or hemorrhoids development? It is excessive pressure on the veins around the anus, which leads to bulging or swelling. Causes of piles in male and females can differ from one another. The key reasons behind increase in pressure in the lower rectum are:

  1. Excessive strain during bowel movements.
  2. Spending too much time on the toilet
  3. Chronic diarrhea
  4. Chronic constipation
  5. Obesity
  6. Pregnancy
  7. Anal intercourse
  8. Having low-fiber diet
  9. Heavy weight lifting

How To Prevent Piles?

How To Prevent Piles?

There are multiple ways to reduce the chances of developing piles. With some lifestyle changes, anyone can avoid developing this discomforting and embarrassing disease.

Here are some of the ways to reduce the chances of developing piles or hemorrhoids:

  • Eating healthy:People who try to stay hydrated and consume fiber-rich diets tend not to develop piles as it helps them in softening the stools and making its passage easier.
  • Avoid straining while pooping: Some people tend to put a lot of strain while pooping which results in development of piles in most of them.
  • Avoid heavy weight lifting: People who lift heavy weights regularly are also more prone to developing piles. You can prevent this problem by lifting moderately heavy things using a proper lifting technique.
  • Maintain healthy body weight: People should maintain a healthy body weight which reduces the chances of developing piles.
  • Follow an active lifestyle: Regular exercising aids in food passage through the digestive system and makes your bowel movements regular. This practice largely reduces the chances of hemorrhoids.

Piles - Diagnosis and Tests

Depending upon your symptoms, your doctor may do a physical examination to ascertain if you have piles. They examine the anus of the patient through anoscopy. In anoscopy, your doctor will insert a gloved and lubricated finger inside your anus to check for piles. Subsequently, the doctor will insert a lubricated tube called an anoscope about two inches inside your anus. Doctors use this to see your anal canal closely using a proctoscope, which is a hollow tube with a light. Sometimes, doctors also take a small tissue sample of the inside surface of a patient's rectum to analyze the problem. This method is called digital rectal examination (DRE).

The doctor may also recommend you to undergo a colonoscopy if the patient is experiencing symptoms suggesting another digestive disease or there are any symptoms of colorectal cancer.

What Questions Your Doctor May Ask You?

Have a look at the questions your doctor may ask you to come to a conclusion:

  • Did any of your close relatives have piles?
  • Did you see some blood or mucus in your stool?
  • Have you experienced any unexpected weight loss?
  • Are you experiencing any changes in your bowel movements?
  • What is the colour of your stool?

What do piles look like?

Generally, there is nothing noticeable in people who are suffering from hemorrhoids. It happens because more of the people suffer from internal piles which occurs inside your anal canal and rectum and do not hang out of your bottom.

On the other hand, larger internal piles protrude out of your bottom where they appear like a discolored rubbery lump. An external pile looks like a mushy lump right at the end of your anus.

What do piles feel like?

The patients suffering from small internal piles do not feel any pain. Larger piles, on the other hand, may cause a mucus discharge, pain, itch and irritation. The discharge can also cause a lot of irritation on the skin surrounding the anus. The patient may also feel fullness in the anus, or not feeling fully emptied after going to the toilet.

What are possible complications of Piles?

No matter how discomforting and embarrassing, Piles rarely cause any serious complications. However, in some cases, this can lead to to the following complications:

  • External piles may become swollen and inflamed. These swollen piles may also develop ulcers on them.
  • The patient can also suffer from skin tags as in some cases, the inside of a pile shrinks back after healing but the skin remains the same.
  • Mucus release from your anus can lead to sore skin around the anus.
  • Hanging down internal piles sometimes get strangulated causing a stoppage of blood supply.
  • In the case of forming a blood clot, piles can become extremely painful.
  • External piles can also turn into thrombus.

Ways to Treat Piles

You must be wondering, how to cure piles? Piles is treatable at home, through operation or surgery, through medicines, ayurvedic medicines and laser treatment too. Have a look at some of them:

Which are the Surgical Treatments for Piles or Hemorrhoids?

Surgery is the best and most sure shot method of hemorrhoid removal. Instead of suffering through the pain and embarrassment of excruciating pain, discomfort and mucus discharge, doctors recommend going straight for surgery to remove piles from the root.

Hemorrhoidectomy, which is an open surgery, has been a very popular procedure that helps in complete removal of external and prolapsed internal hemorrhoids. People, however, try to avoid this method as doctors need to make a significant cut in this procedure.

On the other hand, Laser Piles Surgery requires a way smaller incision, less downtime and amazing results.

In laser surgery for hemorrhoids, doctors use high-energy light to cut or burn the infected tissue during the surgery. With the advancements in laser technology, this procedure has become extremely safe, scar-free, bloodless and less painful. Moreover, it hardly causes any complications.

Doctors give general anesthesia to the patient during these procedures. The patient can go home in a conscious state the same day of surgery after the laser procedure. In some cases, the patient may have to stay at the hospital overnight.

What to eat in Hemorrhoids?

As we have already mentioned, fruits, vegetables and high-fiber foods are the best options to eat in hemorrhoids. Have a look at your options:

  • Soluble and Insoluble fiber
  • 8-10 large glasses of water
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Nuts
  • Grains
  • Fruits and vegetables

What not to eat in Hemorrhoids?

Traditional ways of treatment of piles require support of a lot of lifestyle changes, which include changing eating habits. Have a look at the list of foods you should avoid consuming while suffering from piles:

  • White breads
  • Bagels
  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Dairy products
  • Meat
  • Processed food such as frozen meals and fast food

Apart from these, you also have to watch your salt intake, and discuss with your doctor before taking any iron supplements as they can cause constipation and other digestive issues.

Which doctor to consult for piles?

With the presence of a lot of quacks out there who claim to cure piles with the weirdest methods possible, it becomes very critical to find the best doctor to actually solve your problem.

Being an anorectal disease, Piles needs specialised treatment. The best specialists to treat this problem are either Practologists or General Surgeons. There are a few things you must check before choosing the doctor for piles treatment. Have a look:

  • Doctor's Certification: It is important to know that the doctor you are going for treatment has a valid certification from a recognised Medical College and a license to practice from Medical Licensing Board. A proctologist is a specialist in treating problems related to anus, colon and rectum. A General Surgeon must have a degree of Masters in Surgery to carry out the operation.
  • Skills and Experience: As already discussed, there are a lot of treatment options available for hemorrhoids. Hence, you have to check for the doctors who have good experience in most advanced laser-assisted surgery. This type of surgery gives you the edge over other modes of treatment as it is very quick and has the least amount of downtime.
  • Reviews: You should also check for the reviews from the previous patients who took treatment from the particular doctor. This way you will be able to know about his treatment prowess as well as behaviour with the patients and the attendants.
  • Hospital and Clinic Information: All the doctors either work at a hospital, a clinic or both. The reputation of a hospital or clinic in treating a particular disease is directly proportional to the reputation of a doctor. Therefore, knowing about the credentials of a doctor can give you a fair understanding about the doctor's practice as well.
  • Clear Your Doubts: Before going for a treatment, you must see if you are comfortable enough in sharing your medical history with the doctor. You should also see if the doctor is able to clear your queries, and has explained all the risks and complications that may or may not arise because of the surgery.

If your doctor passes all these criterias, you should go ahead with the treatment. If you are wondering about how to find all this information, you can directly come to Pristyn Care and find out every single detail about the doctor and his prowess in treating piles.

How long does it take to recover from Piles?

Piles or Hemorrhoids have various stages and every stage has a different time frame for recovery. In some cases of small flare-ups, it may even disappear on its own, but in several cases of large external hemorrhoids, it may require more time to heal properly with conventional methods. Surgery, on the other hand, can fix this problem in a very quick time.

What is the price of Piles treatments in India?

The treatment cost for piles or hemorrhoids depends upon various factors. For conventional methods of treatment, a patient may suffer for long but the price would not be very high. On the other hand, if you go for surgery, your suffering will go away within a day but the price would be higher.

To fill this gap in the pricing, Pristyn Care has on-boarded some of the finest surgeons in the country to provide these surgeries at a very affordable price. Basically, the cost of treatment varies from place to place and condition to condition. In India, the surgery cost for piles ranges from Rs 40,000 to Rs 55,000.

Pristyn Care has partnered with more than 400 doctors in over 40 cities across India to provide piles surgery at affordable prices. All you have to do is to come on the website and submit a query. Everything else will be taken care of by the representatives of the organisation.

Are The Results of Piles Treatment Permanent?

Home remedies and other conventional methods of piles treatment only subside the symptoms and never cure the problem permanently. A slight alteration in the doctor-recommended lifestyle can reignite the problem.

Laser surgery, on the other hand, is completely safe, fast and provides permanent results. It just takes three days or less to completely get rid of the embarrassing problem forever. Laser surgery is a daycare procedure in which the surgeon treats the affected area with laser energy. It fixes the problem in a few minutes and the patient can go home healed and conscious within a few hours on the surgery. Moreover, laser surgery does not cause any risk of infection.

Apart from being pain-free, there are negligible chances of recurrence of the disease after a laser treatment.

Who is Eligible for Piles Surgery?

Patients who are passing black stool associated with a lot of pain should immediately book an appointment with the doctor for surgery. Furthermore, people who are facing difficulty in passing stool or have already been diagnosed with internal or external piles can go for surgery.

Who is not Eligible for Piles Surgery?

People who recently had colorectal surgery can not go through with piles surgery. Plus, people who have early stage piles, which can be treated with medications, are also not advised to go ahead with surgery.

What are the Post-Treatment Guidelines?

After the laser surgery, the patient may experience a few drops of blood on stool or on the wipe tissue paper. It is completely normal during the recovery from piles. You may also experience some discharge containing mucous for a few days post surgery. It may stain your undergarments. All you need to do is to take care of some of the instructions mentioned below:

  • Keep anal area clean and dry
  • Take shower or sitz bath after each bowel movement
  • Use wet tissues to wipe your bottom
  • Avoid excessive wiping
  • Wear adult diapers or sanitary napkins
  • Do not indulge in hard physical activities for a few days
  • Do not lift or pull weights for at least two weeks
  • Go on short walks
  • Eat fiber-rich foods
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Cut down on junk, spicy and oily foods for a few days

Laser piles surgery is one of the safest and the most successful modes of treatment available in the industry right now. If we talk about its drawbacks or side-effects, the only problem it may cause is a burning sensation which disappears gradually, and very rarely, it may lead to external skin tag thrombosis.

Piles - Outlook/Prognosis

Piles is a very discomforting, painful and embarrassing disease. It may not be life threatening but surely throws your normal life out of the window. A few years ago, with no advanced technologies, people were forced to suffer through this disease as they had to depend upon conventional methods of treatment. Now, with the introduction of laser treatment, no one has to tolerate it as apart from being extremely successful, it is also very cost effective.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • The primary cause behind the development of piles is excessive pressure on the veins around the anus, which leads to bulging or swelling.
  • Piles is not a deadly disease but sometimes it may cause external piles (swelling around your anal canal, close to anus) to become swollen and inflamed. Sometimes, ulcers can form on the hemorrhoids. The patient can also develop skin tags when the inside of a hemorrhoid shrinks back but the skin remains.
  • In medical terms, piles or hemorrhoids is a condition in which the veins swell up in the lower rectum and anus of a person. The swelling also leads to localised inflammation of other tissues.
  • People can prevent piles effectively by making some lifestyle changes. By including fiber-rich food items like fruits and vegetables and doing some physical activities can greatly reduce the chances of suffering from hemorrhoids. People should also avoid straining while pooping, avoid heavy weight lifting, maintain a healthy body weight and follow an active lifestyle to prevent piles.
  • If you have been suffering from piles for over a week despite taking home treatment, you should immediately seek medical help. Patients who experience constant bleeding from their rectum should also see a doctor on urgent basis.
  • You should explain your medical history to the doctor and ask him/her to tell you the best treatment for your condition. You should also ask the doctor to explain the complete procedure of treatment, its possible results and complications and recovery time. You should also clarify your own doubts related to the treatment method to be sure about being in the safe hands.
  • Piles generally go away on their own but in some cases, patients may have to take medical help to deal with the problem. There are multiple treatment methods available which are used to treat hemorrhoids in a day. You can even go home the same day.
  • The most common signs and symptoms of piles are bleeding while pooping, lump inside or around the anal region, a smelly discharge of mucus from the anus, constant feel of fullness and discomfort in the anus, feeling of incomplete evacuation of bowel after you have been to toilet, severe itch or sore skin around your anus, pain or discomfort after going to toilet, infection and fecal incontinence.
  • Deep-fried and processed food items, spicy food, alcohol, dairy products, unripe fruits, refined grains, highly salted foods, iron supplements and excessive fiber are the most common food types that lead to piles or hemorrhoids.
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