Dr. Archontovasilis Fotis, MD, PhD, cFACS,
General and Laparoscopic Surgeon, Head and Director of the 6th Surgical Department of Metropolitan General Clinic (Former Iaso General Clinic), Athens, Greece
Distinguished Surgeon with specialization in minimally invasive, laparoscopic and robotic surgery of the digestive system, hernias and anal diseases. He has an over 10 years experience in the private health sector, and since 2015 he directs a Surgical Department in one of the largest private hospitals in SouthEastern Europe.
In case of interest, you can contact Dr. Archontovasilis Fotios and get operated either in Athens, in Metropolitan General Clinic (former Iaso General Clinic).
What are hemorrhoids?
In one sense, everyone has hemorrhoids (or piles), the pillow-like clusters of veins and arteries that lie just beneath the mucous membranes lining the lowest part of the rectum and the anus. The condition most of us call hemorrhoids (or piles) develops when those veins become swollen and distended, like varicose veins in the legs. Because the blood vessels involved must continually battle gravity to get blood back up to the heart, some people believe hemorrhoids are part of the price we pay for being upright creatures.
Hemorrhoids usually occur as internal ones, inside of the anus. They can also appear externally, under the skin of the anus.
It has been suggested that up to 80 percent of adults will experience hemorrhoids at some point in their lives. Approximately 50 percent of those people aged 50 years and over will require treatment. Hemorrhoids are much more common among men than women.
What causes hemorrhoids?
Experts are divided on exactly what causes hemorrhoids, but probably several mechanisms are at work.
The swollen or inflamed veins around the anus or in the rectum can occur for the following reasons:
- Chronic constipation
- Chronic diarrhea
- Straining to move stool (related to the previous one)
- Sitting for long periods (especially sitting for long periods at a time in the toilet)
- Anal intercourse
- Genetics – some people inherit a tendency to develop hemorrhoids.
Symptoms and Diagnosing
Symptoms of hemorrhoids can often include:
- Bleeding, usually painless. The patient may notice red on the toilet paper or in the toilet bowl
- Itching or irritation in the anal area
- Discomfort and pain in the anal region
- Lumps protruding from the anal region
- Swelling in the anal region
- A lump near your anus, this can sometimes be sensitive (painful)
- Feces may leak (without your wanting it to happen).
Bleeding during bowel movements is the most common sign of hemorrhoids. But rectal bleeding can occur with other diseases, including colorectal cancer and anal cancer. Don’t assume that bleeding is coming from hemorrhoids without consulting a doctor.
First- to Fourth-Degree
- A first-degree internal hemorrhoid bulges into the anal canal duringbowel movements.
- A second-degree internal hemorrhoid bulges from the anus duringbowel movements, then goes back inside by itself.
- A third-degree hemorrhoid bulges from the anus during bowel movements and must be pushed back in with a finger.
- A fourth-degree hemorrhoid protrudes from the anus all the time.
How can hemorrhoids be treated?
The HeLP (Hemorrhoid Laser Procedure) is is an introspective, painless and simpler than any other available technique. It does not require excision of tissues and manage (with photocoagulation) to seal hemorrhoid arteries without needles and sutures.
The LHP (Laser HaemorrhoidoPlasty) is an innovative, minimally invasive technique treating hemorrhoids with reducible or fixed prolapse (2nd-4th degree).