Hemorrhoids can appear at any time and can be quite burdensome, painful and embarrassing! A large number of people suffer from hemorrhoids, but most primary care physicians (PCP) have only few treatment options before sending you to see a surgeon. Most patients leave their PCP’s office with one or two poor options: fill another prescription or consider a visit to see a surgeon.
The pains of the hemorrhoid flare-up are magnified in this situation because neither option is really a good option. Once in this position, what usually happens? The flare-up starts to calm down a bit and the patient puts off correcting the issue until it becomes much worse. Severity slowly increases and time between flare-ups decreases.
Many times, this leaves surgery as the only option. Hemorrhoid surgery can lead to 2-4 weeks of missed work and using up all of your vacations days, sick days, and increases in paperwork for FMLA or other short-term disability claims. All because of simply not knowing about all available types of hemorrhoid treatment. There has to be a better way. The truth is of all the hemorrhoid patients typically seen in the office setting, well over 95% are candidates for treatment with non-surgical methods. Read on…
1. Over the Counter – Prep H ointment and various creams, suppositories and wipes. The use of these hemorrhoid treatments is designed to be short-term. Many cause constriction of the vessels and lubrication of the tissue to aid in passage of stool more easily and decrease the abrasions from harder stools or ease the damage of over-wiping the external anus and tissues. Long term use is a problem as the tissues of the area start to have rebound swelling once the topicals are discontinued. This keeps patients buying more products without fixing anything.
2. Prescriptions – originally designed as the next option, these products are slightly more effective yet have systemic risks that many practitioners fail to recognize. Cortisone products may degrade the tissues with prolonged use past a few weeks time, disrupt blood sugar control and adrenal gland steroid production.
3- Non-surgical Treatments – often the unknown or overlooked solution to internal or external hemorrhoids. These treatments include: infrared coagulation (IRC) often referred to as laser treatment, rubber band ligation (RBL) or banding and sclero-injection or “sclero” for internal hemorrhoids. External hemorrhoid treatment includes: incision and drainage (I&D) for external blood clots or thrombosis, minor excisions for some types of skin tags and rubber band ligation (RBL) if the external tissue is a grade 4 prolapsing internal hemorrhoid.
4- Surgery – this hemorrhoid treatment includes the surgical excision as well stapled excisions and removal of the arterial supply vessels. These surgeries are performed in hospitals and surgical centers. Costs are tremendous and recovery times can be weeks to a month or longer. Pain is the most common complicating factor as surgeons and patients alike tend to refrain from this approach unless absolutely necessary.
Many surgeons have been known to tell patients, “you really don’t want to have your hemorrhoids cut on,” or “use whatever you can find to help with your hemorrhoids because surgery is going to hurt like hell,” and “please don’t come back for 20 years or until the hemorrhoids are so bad you can’t take it anymore and then we’ll do your surgery.” So, do you want to wait on treatment now?
Non-surgical solutions can be a life saver and money saver! Usually performed in the physician’s office, but not always, so be sure to ask before you treat. If done in a hospital procedure room or endoscopy suite, you can spend thousands of dollars more due to “facility fees” with no real added benefit to the patient.
Of all the hemorrhoid patients typically seen in the office setting, well over 95% are candidates for treatment with non-surgical methods. Of all the patients seen by a surgeon, around half can be treated by surgery. If you ask surgeons to fix your problem, the vast majority will give you surgical options that involve cutting. That is what they do… surgery! So if over 95% can be treated with non-surgical options, why would you not want to start with the easiest and least complicated option? That is where we can help.
At Mountain Streams Medical Center, your center of excellence in hemorrhoid treatment, we strive to quickly and effectively treat you. We want you to avoid the pain, down time and tremendous costs of surgery. We have specially equipped our locations to be both your diagnostic and treatment center. We are equipped to handle all non-surgical hemorrhoid treatments right here! Most times, your treatment can begin the very same day.