1. What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are cushions of tissue containing swollen blood vessels in the lower rectum or around the anus. Hemorrhoids can cause discomfort, itching, bleeding, and sometimes severe pain.
2. What causes hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are caused by too much pressure in the veins of the rectum, which can happen for several reasons. Hemorrhoids can be linked to diet, constipation, diarrhea, obesity, pregnancy and childbirth, and even sitting for extended periods of time.
3. How do I know if what I have is a hemorrhoid, or something else?
See our hemorrhoid page determine whether you’re suffering from hemorrhoids. The best way to be sure of the source of your discomfort is to come in for a consultation.
4. How can I prevent hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids can’t always be prevented, but you can reduce your chances by avoiding some of the main hemorrhoid causes, like constipation. Whether you’ve had hemorrhoid treatment before or not, it’s a good idea to:
- Eat plenty of fiber
- Reduce your intake of high-fat, low-fiber foods, like red meat and dairy, which can cause constipation
- Drink eight glasses of water a day.
- Avoid straining during bowel movements (if you don’t have a bowel movement within a few minutes of sitting on the toilet, come back later, which will help you avoid straining)
- During periods of extended sitting, stay hydrated, eat fiber, and walk around every 30 minutes or so
5. Do hemorrhoids always require surgery?
Over 95% of hemorrhoids can be treated using the CRH O’Regan System®, meaning less than 5% of hemorrhoids require surgery. The sooner you seek treatment the lower your chances of needing surgery will be. Please note: Cary Gastro is able to only treat hemorrhoids that do not require surgical intervention. In cases where external hemorrhoids are too large to treat, we will refer patients to a surgeon for care.
6. How does the CRH O’Regan System of banding work?
A tiny rubber band is placed around the base of the hemorrhoid, which cuts off blood supply to the area. Within a few days, the banded tissue and band will shrink and fall off, usually without you even noticing.
7. How many treatments are necessary?
Everyone has three hemorrhoid columns and most often, when one is affected, all three are affected. Generally speaking, a patient will require three treatments, with one band placed during each visit.
8. Does banding hurt?
No. With the CRH O’Regan System®, band placement is painless and over 99% of patients experience no significant post-procedural pain.
9. Will I have to miss work or other activities?
No, you can typically return to work and resume your normal activities immediately following the procedure (but refrain from vigorous activity until the following day).
10. Will my insurance cover banding?
Most major insurance plans cover hemorrhoid banding (rubber band ligation). Call our office at (919) 816-4948 for cost details, or refer to your specific insurance policy for copay information.
11. Can I just use an over-the-counter treatment, like Preparation H cream?
Over-the-counter treatments can help relieve hemorrhoid symptoms such as itching and swelling. However, these remedies don’t treat the cause of the hemorrhoid, and it's more likely that your symptoms will reoccur eventually. For a long-term solution, a treatment like banding is likely your best option.
The most important thing to remember is that hemorrhoids are a common affliction—most of us will experience symptomatic hemorrhoids at some point in our lives. You should never feel stressed or embarrassed about speaking to your doctor, who can provide more detailed answers to all of the above questions, and any others you might have. Contact us to make an appointment today.