India’s Most Trusted Network of High Quality Hospitals

What are Piles?

Piles or haemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anus. They can be found inside (Internal Haemorrhoids) or outside (External Haemorrhoids) the anus.

What causes piles?

Increased pressure in the lower rectum causes piles to form. The most common causes are:

  • Constipation

  • Lifting heavy weights

  • Diarrhoea

  • Pregnancy

Symptoms / when to call your doctor

Piles are classified as Grade I to Grade IV based on their severity. Grade I and II can be treated by lifestyle changes while Grade III and IV might require surgery.

The symptoms include:

  • Bleeding during passing stools

  • Itching or irritation in the anus

  • Pain while passing stools

  • Lumps near the anus

Why you should see a doctor?

Piles generally do not lead to complicated health problems. But in a few, they may lead to:

  • Acute pain

  • Rectal cancer

  • Anaemia due to blood loss

  • Blood clots which can be very painful

How is it diagnosed?

Piles can be diagnosed by a visual examination of the anal area. To ensure there are no abnormalities or complications, the doctor may perform a digital rectal exam in which he inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the anus.

The doctor may also suggest a colonoscopy to ensure there are no digestive disorders.

Dietary Restrictions

Constipation is best avoided post the surgery to give the anal area time to heal. Hence, you should eat foods that are:

  • High in fibre

  • Simple, nutritious food

  • Non spicy and low in oil

  • No alcohol and coffee

Treatment for Piles

Grade I and II piles can be treated using lifestyle changes like:

  • eating fibre rich food to avoid constipation

  • taking a sitz bath

  • using ice pack

  • laxatives etc.

However, Grade III and IV piles might require a surgery.

Types of treatments:

SpecificsTraditional SurgeryLaser SurgeryStapler Haemorrhoidectomy
Cuts and WoundsYesNoNo
PainYesNoNo
RecurrencePossibleNoLow possibility
Dietary RestrictionYesNoNo
Recovery Time1-2 Weeks24 hours24 hours
InvasiveYesNoNo

Traditional Surgery

Traditional surgery is mostly used for internal haemorrhoids. There are two methods - open and closed surgeries, both involving cuts and sutures

Flow of the procedure:

  • Patient is given general anaesthesia for the procedure

  • The piles are cut off from the anal region using a scalpel or scissors

  • For a closed surgery, the skin is sutured where as in an open surgery, the skin is left open for natural healing

Recovery Time and Dietary Advice:

  • 2- 4 days hospital stay

  • Wound takes 1-3 weeks to heal

  • Fibre rich food is advised.

Risks involved in the treatment:

Some of the risks of the procedure may be:

  • Excessive bleeding

  • Infection of the surgical wound

  • Pain

  • Urinary tract infections

  • Incontinence

Laser Procedure

The laser procedure is a no cut, no wound procedure. The procedure takes only minutes to complete.

Flow of the procedure:

  • Patient is given an enema

  • A laser device is inserted into the anal region

  • The energy from the laser is focussed on the mass to shrink it

  • The shrunken layer adheres naturally to the skin

Recovery Time and Dietary Advice:

  • 1 Day procedure with mild pain

  • Patients can resume normal routine from next day

  • Diet - Simple, bland, nutritious, fibre rich food

Risks involved in the treatment:

There are very less complications through this laser treatment. Some of the risks may be:

  • allergic or adverse reaction to anaesthesia or other drugs

  • bleeding

  • infection

  • inability to urinate which may indicate kidney problems

Stapler Haemorrhoidectomy

This procedure is usually done for large size internal haemorrhoids. There is a significant reduction in pain through this procedure.

Flow of the procedure:

  • Patient is given general anaesthesia for the procedure

  • A small hollow tube is inserted into the anal region

  • The internal haemorrhoids are adjusted into the hollow tube

  • The region above the haemorrhoids is sutured and pulled which cuts off the haemorrhoids

  • The entire procedure takes about 30 minutes to complete

Recovery Time and Dietary Advice:

  • 1-day discharge with mild pain

  • Resume normal day routine from the next day

  • Normal diet after 4 hours of surgery. Fibre rich food is advised.

Risks involved in the treatment:

Some of the risks of the procedure may be:

  • Excessive bleeding

  • Infection of the surgical wound

  • Anal fissure

  • Scarring

  • Trauma to rectal wall