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?
- 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.
- 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.