Piles / Hemorrhoids

Piles Patient Awareness Guide

What are piles?

  • Piles is a medical condition in which blood vessels in the rectal mucosa dilate and form a mass in the anal canal. Sometimes they may be felt outside anus. This stage is called prolapsed hemorrhoids.
  • Hemorrhoids are classified as internal and external haemorrhoids.

How common is incidence of piles?

  • Incidence of piles is common in both men and women. Those with improper dietary habits and sedentary lifestyle have a greater incidence of piles.
  • According to a recent health estimate, over 40% of the world population suffers from piles and as many as 40% of the population have experienced symptoms of this disease sometime in their life.
  • In India, approximately 80% of the patients belong to the age group of 21 – 50 years. Piles are also seen among pregnant women.

What are the Symptoms of piles?

  • In different stages of development, the symptoms vary, gradually becoming worse.
  • The main symptoms of piles are swelling and itching in or around the rectum.
  • In late stage, pain and itching are also found with bleeding while passing the stools.
  • Patient might feel an uncomfortable mass inside the anal canal.
  • If the piles are prolapsed, patient may feel them while washing after the use of the toilet.

What are the causes of piles?

  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Inadequate water intake
  • High intake of hot beverages
  • Pushing too hard while passing stools

What can be done to prevent piles?

  • Increase the fibre intake through your food vegetables and fruits, fresh food, whole grains and cereals.
  • Avoid oily and fast food
  • Establish regular bowel habits and avoid constipation
  • Avoid spicy food, alcohol, coffee and tea
  • Exercise regularly to keep weight in check
  • Avoid prolonged sitting or standing positions
  • Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water every day. This will soften the stools and will help move the waste through the intestine smoothly.

What are the treatment options available?

  • It is very important to have a correct diagnosis first. So ask the patient to visit a doctor for proper diagnosis.
  • If detected early, piles can be cured with medication and life style changes.
  • In the later stages, surgery is a must and there are various surgical procedures available to treat piles problems.
  • Mainly surgical options are classified as conventional and Minimally Invasive Procedure for Hemorrhoids (MIPH).

What is the difference between conventional surgery and MIPH?

  • Since many years, piles patients have been operated through conventional surgery approach.
  • This approach will generally cost less but has various disadvantages such as pain after operation for 2-3 weeks. He might need hospital stay after operation for more than a week. The surgical wounds need dressing for 2-3 weeks.
  • On an average it takes 4-5 weeks for complete recovery. Patient needs a frequent follow up with the doctor.

MIPH

  • Recently, the new technique has come up to treat piles. It is called as Minimally Invasive Procedure for Hemorrhoids (MIPH).
  • This advance technique is being increasingly recommended by surgeons around the country. This operation is performed with the help of a stapler device and patient may go home on the same day.
  • Patients who have undergone this procedure reported minimum post operative pain.
  • No dressings are required and the patient can resume work in 4-5 days time.
  • So if the surgeon recommends surgery, discuss MIPH with him/ her.

Its benefits include:

  • Less pain
  • Faster recovery
  • Faster regaining of normal bowel function
  • Less postoperative care after discharge
  • Faster return to normal work

Statutory warning: This information is provided with the objective of creating general awareness of the disease and treatment options considering the best interest of people. Please consult a doctor for the right diagnosis and suitable treatment options as per the situation.