San Lucas Surgical Associates
Rolando Saenz, MD
General and Colorectal Surgeon located in San Antonio, TX
Nearly three out of four adults will suffer from hemorrhoids at some point over the course of their lives. Although hemorrhoids are common, it’s important to rule out other, more serious conditions, and to get the care you need. Dr. Rolando H. Saenz provides his patients with comprehensive treatment for these painful irritants at San Lucas Surgical Associates in Downtown, San Antonio, Texas. If you’re experiencing rectal bleeding, a common symptom of hemorrhoids, make sure to schedule an appointment by calling today.
Hemorrhoids & Rectal Bleeding Q & A
What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids, which are also called piles, are enlarged or swollen veins in your anus and lower rectum that are similar to varicose veins. They are very common, affecting nearly 75% of adults at some point in their lives. There are two types of hemorrhoids: internal hemorrhoids, located inside the rectum, and external hemorrhoids, which are located under the skin that surrounds the anus.
Although hemorrhoids can be painful and disrupt your daily routine, there are plenty of effective treatment options available that provide relief from symptoms.
If I experience rectal bleeding, do I have hemorrhoids?
Rectal bleeding is a common symptom of hemorrhoids. However, particularly if you’re over 40, rectal bleeding can be a symptom of other more serious diseases, such as anal cancer or colorectal cancer.
Other signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids can include:
- A sensitive lump near your anus
- Itching in your anus
- Pain or discomfort in your anus
- Swelling around your anus
In some cases, hemorrhoids don’t cause any noticeable symptoms, but bleeding during bowel movements is the most common sign of hemorrhoids. Dr. Saenz can perform tests to make sure your bleeding isn’t being caused by a more serious condition.
What causes hemorrhoids?
The veins in your anal region are prone to stretching when facing pressure. This can cause them to swell. Hemorrhoids, which stem from swollen veins, develop due to increased pressure in the lower rectum. Some of the most common causes include:
- Straining too much during bowel movements
- Sitting for too long on the toilet
- Chronic constipation
- Anal intercourse
- Low-fiber diet
As you age, you’re more likely to develop hemorrhoids because tissues that support veins in and around your rectum and anus may weaken and be more susceptible to stretching.
How do you treat hemorrhoids?
Dr. Saenz performs tests and procedures to assess your anal canal, rectum, and possibly your colon, to determine the severity of your hemorrhoids and to check for the existence of other conditions or diseases. He’ll likely perform a rectal exam to feel for abnormal growths in your rectum and a visual exam, such as an anoscope, to check for growths too soft to feel during a rectal exam.
Treatment for hemorrhoids may include a combination of home remedies, medications, and surgical procedures. Your individualized treatment plan depends on the specifics of your condition. Dr. Saenz may suggest a diet higher in fiber, avoiding dry toilet paper to keep the anal area clean after bowel movements, and topical treatments. Oral pain relievers also provide pain relief.
If other interventions haven’t proved successful, or if you have fairly large hemorrhoids, Dr. Saenz may recommend hemorrhoid removal surgery.
If you’re dealing with rectal bleeding, particularly during a bowel movement, call to schedule an appointment today.