Hemorrhoids: Meaning, Diagnosis and Overview

What is Hemorrhoids?

  • Haemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed blood vessels that form either externally (around the anus) or internally (in the lower rectum).
  • They may be located inside the rectum (internal haemorrhoids), or they may develop under the skin around the anus (external haemorrhoids).
  • Haemorrhoids are also called as piles.

Recovery Time

The pain and swelling of most symptomatic haemorrhoids will decrease in two to seven days, and the firm lump should recede within four to six weeks by proper treatment.


Diagnosis is done by visual examination at the rectal area. Other tests include:
  • Digital rectal exam
  • Anoscopy 
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy
  • Colonoscopy

FAQs prepared by doctor

Q1.  What are haemorrhoids?
Haemorrhoids or Piles is the dilation of veins in and around the anus. It is caused over a period of time due to excessive pressure on the veins. It can also be caused if there is increased venous resistance, as in liver failure patients.

Q2.  How do I know I have haemorrhoids?
If there is any mass protruding from the anus or bleeding, it needs to be evaluated by proctoscopy or colonoscopy examination to diagnose haemorrhoids.

Q3.  What is the treatment for haemorrhoids?
There are different modalities of treatment depending on the severity of haemorrhoids. 1st and 2nd degree piles are treated conservatively with medication and diet management. 3rd degree piles require surgery.

Q4.  How long does it take to cure?
1st and 2nd degree piles gradually regress with medication and lifestyle changes over a few weeks to months depending upon severity.

Q5.  How do I prevent haemorrhoids?
You can prevent haemorrhoids by leading an active lifestyle and taking well balanced diet which prevent constipation and have regular bowel movements.

Q6.  What are the complications of haemorrhoids?
Haemorrhoids if untreated can lead to anaemia due to blood loss. Severe pain and discomfort may be encountered while sitting due to protrusion of haemorrhoids through the anus.

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