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McHenry County General Surgeon Discusses When to Consider Surgery for Bothersome Hemorrhoids

MCHENRY, IL--(Marketwired - Jun 30, 2014) - Hemorrhoids are extremely common. In fact, up to 75 percent of Americans will be affected by hemorrhoids at some point in their lives. While many people are aware of the medical treatments available, most do not realize definitive surgical treatments exist. "Surgery is performed as a last resort for hemorrhoids," states general surgeon Dr. Basudeb Saha. "Usually medical treatments are adequate. However, in about 10-20% of cases, surgery becomes necessary."

Hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins in the rectum or anus. Both internal (inside the rectum) and external (near the anal opening) hemorrhoids can cause severe pain and itching. Hemorrhoids result from increased pressure in the anal veins and can occur as a result of obesity, constipation, straining during bowel movements, pregnancy, and childbirth. Internal hemorrhoids can prolapse; or fall through the anal opening. A blood clot (thrombosis) can also occur in a hemorrhoid. Both prolapsed and thrombosed hemorrhoids can be very painful. Hemorrhoids can also cause bleeding that can be life threatening.

Hemorrhoids can be diagnosed easily in the doctor's office with a medical history and physical exam. In most cases, the physician will recommend conservative treatment first. This can include increasing fiber in the diet, exercise, sitz baths, over the counter hemorrhoid creams, and hydrocortisone suppositories. But when should a patient consider surgery for hemorrhoids? "If conservative measures have been tried and failed, or if hemorrhoids are extremely large or have prolapsed, surgery should be strongly considered," says Dr.Basudeb Saha.

Traditional hemorrhoid excision (hemorrhoidectomy) may be recommended for patients with large protruding hemorrhoids or hemorrhoids that return despite prior less invasive treatments. This procedure affords patients a high cure rate ( > 95%) with few complications but can be painful and does require general anesthesia. Patients require narcotic pain medications following surgery and may not return to work for 7-10 days. A less invasive approach uses staples (hemorrhoidopexy) to treat the hemorrhoids. Like a traditional hemorrhoidectomy, stapling also affords a high cure rate and is performed as an outpatient surgery in a hospital under general anesthesia. However, "patients like this approach better because it is less painful and the recovery is quicker," states Dr. Saha.

Dr. Basudeb Saha performs surgery for hemorrhoids using both the traditional repair and staples. If you suffer from large, painful, or bothersome hemorrhoids surgery may be an option for you. Your general surgeon will advise on which repair is best for you.

About Basudeb Saha, MD, FACS

Dr. Saha earned his medical degree at the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India. He later completed his training in general surgery at the New Jersey College of Medicine where he also served as Chief Resident. He completed a fellowship in Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. Dr. Saha is board-certified by the American Board of General Surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgery. He has received numerous excellence awards in his general practice and maintains active memberships in the American College of Surgery and several other prestigious organizations. He is available for interview upon request.