Talking about rectal problems like hemorrhoids can feel embarrassing. But this common problem affects an estimated 3 in 4 Americans sometime during their lifetimes — half of them by the time they turn 50.
With hemorrhoids being such a widespread problem, it’s no surprise that local drugstores have plenty of treatments promising to help. But what if over-the-counter treatments don’t help? Can medical care solve your problem and relieve your discomfort?
At Paonessa Colon & Rectal Surgery, we say, “Yes.” And the good news? Getting medical hemorrhoid treatment doesn’t always mean you need surgery. In fact, you can rest easy knowing that most of the time, it doesn’t.
Board-certified general surgeon and proctologist Nina J. Paonessa, DO, leads our team. She’s a specialist who is well-known for her medical expertise as well as her passion for making her patients feel comfortable when addressing this sometimes embarrassing condition. Dr. Paonessa is also the only female colorectal surgeon in Ocean and Monmouth counties, New Jersey.
Simply put, a hemorrhoid is a bulging and swollen vein in your anorectal region. Hemorrhoids are very similar to varicose veins, and you can have them anywhere from your lower rectum to the area just outside your anus. If you have internal hemorrhoids, they occur inside your body, while external hemorrhoids form underneath the skin of your anal opening.
Depending on the location of your hemorrhoids, you may experience excessive bleeding with mild discomfort, or they can become extremely painful. As with many medical conditions, seeking treatment early for your hemorrhoids can spare you needless discomfort and pain.
4 signs your hemorrhoids need medical attention
Here are four signs that Dr. Paonessa says indicate your hemorrhoids require medical intervention and why early treatment matters.
1. Bleeding when you have a bowel movement
There are many underlying causes of rectal bleeding, including hemorrhoids. If you have bleeding from internal hemorrhoids, it’s usually bright red, occurs with bowel movements, causes no pain, and ranges from mild to moderate in quantity.
But never assume rectal bleeding is due to hemorrhoids. If you’ve never been diagnosed with hemorrhoids — or you have noticed a change in the characteristics of the bleeding you’ve had with hemorrhoids in the past — see us for an accurate diagnosis.
2. Noticing an anal bulge that retracts after passing stools
When you have internal hemorrhoids, they can prolapse (or push outside) your anal opening during a bowel movement. At first, the tissue may retract on its own, or you can easily push it back inside. But a prolapse can worsen over time and can eventually cause significant irritation, bleeding, itching, and pain as this internal tissue becomes trapped outside of your anus.
Get early treatment to prevent a prolapse from growing worse.
3. Feeling you can’t empty your stool completely
If you have prolapsed internal hemorrhoids, they can cause the sensation that you have stool stuck at your anus. You may also have difficulty cleaning yourself or notice a mucous discharge following a bowel movement because of the displaced tissue.
Dr. Paonessa can remedy these symptoms by treating the hemorrhoid.
4. Experiencing anal discomfort or irritation
You don’t have to live with hemorrhoids symptoms until the pain becomes so severe it disrupts your life. Dr. Paonessa offers several effective, nonsurgical treatments that can resolve your hemorrhoids, including:
- Rubber band ligation
- Sclerosis treatment
During rubber band ligation, Dr. Paonessa blocks blood flow to the hemorrhoidal tissue by wrapping a rubber band around it. Within a few days, the hemorrhoid shrivels, dies, and simply drops off. With sclerosis, Dr. Paonessa injects a chemical solution into your hemorrhoid, causing the vein to collapse and wither away.
You can rely on Dr. Paonessa to focus first on accurately diagnosing your condition. Then she recommends the most conservative and effective hemorrhoid treatment available, along with tips that help prevent hemorrhoids from recurring.
Don’t live with hemorrhoid discomfort; contact us to schedule your appointment today at Paonessa Colon & Rectal Surgery in Brielle and Manahawkin, New Jersey.