Piles in a Nutshell

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Recurrent bleeding after passing stools, sliding down of the anal parts, painful and hard stools are some of the common problems faced by patients suffering from piles. A change in dietary habits and some of the home remedies may offer relief to those in the primary stages. However, in case of an advanced disease, a permanent cure can be challenging.

Conventional therapies like injection of piles, banding etc. fail to provide a guaranteed relief. Pain associated with such procedures, and in the weeks to follow, not to mention the loss in working hours, makes these options unfavorable to the patients. With so many quacks boasting of a complete cure and with all the misconceptions associated with this disease, a person suffering from piles is usually left in a muddle!

To begin with, lets understand where the problem lies. Piles, basically is the swelling of the blood vessels near the anal opening and a sliding down of the lining of the anal canal. It usually starts with itching around the anal opening associated with a feeling of heaviness. Later, bleeding from this area post defecation with/without pain make appearance. The question that now arises is that who is likely to get this dreadful disease that makes every morning unwelcome? The most common cause is constipation which requires straining during defecation that exerts pressure over the blood vessels in the area, causing them to swell, elongate and slide down the anal opening. When the hardened stools come in contact with these blown up blood vessels, the friction between the two causes the vessels to rupture and bleeding ensues, the stage of the disease when the patient begins to panic. increased abdominal pressure in obesity or in pregnancy also has a similar effect on the blood vessels which is the reason why this problem is common during these times.

All said and done, how does one prevent or stop piles at an early stage? A fiber rich diet which includes sprouts, green vegetables, fruits and increasing the water intake keeps the stools soft, prevents constipation and the resultant straining during defecation. Foods rich in flavonoids like apples, berries, bananas, oranges, sprouts, onions, tomatoes etc. are particularly beneficial for their anti-inflammatory property. As the disease advances, a systematic clinical examination and diagnosis from a specialist is of utmost importance. Treatment options include diet modification, medicines, conventional surgeries and the new world treatments including MIPH (Stapler surgery) and Laser surgery. Unless it's a very early disease, the various medicines for piles provide only a temporary relief. With the conventional therapies, the patient has to face problems like blood loss, pain and narrowing of the anal opening. Again, these techniques do not guarantee removal of piles from the roots.

After years of surgical research, the 21st century witnessed the invention of the stapler surgery (MIPH), which ensures complete removal of piles from the roots in a circumferential 360 degree pattern. Laser Hemorrohoidoplasty (LHP), another innovative treatment also gives excellent results. These surgeries certainly have an edge over their counterparts as there is minimal blood loss and negligible pain. With a meagre 24hour hospitalization the patient can return to work in 3 days. These methods also guarantee the advantage of a short operating time and the least chance of recurrence. Thus with the expanding horizons of the surgical field, a patient suffering from piles can be assured of a permanent cure. It's just a matter of taking the first step and seeking help.