[L. haemorrhoidae fr. Gr. haimorrhoïdes, (veins) discharging blood]
Veins of the internal or external hemorrhoidal plexuses and the immediately surrounding tissues. Hemorrhoids are most often referred to only when diseased, i.e., enlarged, painful, bleeding. Other anorectal conditions (such as, anal fissure, condylomata, anal cancers) may produce similar symptoms and must be distinguished from hemorrhoids by appropriate examination.
SYN: SEE: piles
Therapy depends on the severity of the symptoms, not the extent of the hemorrhoids. Often the only therapy required is improvement in anal care, adherence to appropriate fluid intake and diet, if necessary, and administration of stool softeners to prevent straining to have a bowel movement. Measures to reduce local pain and congestion include the temporary use of local anesthetic agents, lubrication, cold compresses, warm sitz baths, and thermal packs. The necessity of surgery or other direct intervention (such as latex band ligation, sclerotherapy, cryosurgery, infrared photocoagulation, laser surgery) need not be applied until the acuteperiod passes except in cases of significant bleeding, intractable pain, recurrent episodes, or other considerations.
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