Hemorrhoid Treatment by Doctors at Mercy in Baltimore

Dr. Matilda Hagan - Mercy Medical Center

At The Center for Inflammatory Bowel and Colorectal Diseases at Mercy, our specialists provide relief to patients experiencing hemorrhoids. Patients look to Mercy's doctors for their expertise in diagnosing and treating hemorrhoids.

About the Condition

Hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins in the lower rectum. An internal hemorrhoid occurs inside the rectum whereas an external hemorrhoid occurs under the skin outside the rectum. Hemorrhoids are common and most people will experience hemorrhoid symptoms at some point in their lives, mostly in ages 50 or older. 

NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Hemorrhoids can be caused by:

  • Straining during bowel movements
  • Chronic diarrhea and constipation
  • Pressure from pregnancy
  • Aging

Hemorrhoid symptoms include:

  • Bleeding
  • Itching and irritation
  • Swelling around the anus
  • Pain and pressure in the anal canal
  • Lumps on the anus
  • Leakage of feces

External hemorrhoids can be diagnosed by looking at the rectum. Internal hemorrhoids most often are diagnosed with an internal examination of the rectum by a colorectal specialist. If further examination is needed to determine the presence of hemorrhoids, an anoscopy, proctoscopy, or sigmoidoscopy may be performed by inserting a thin scope with a camera to better view the anus and rectum.

In addition to the traditional tests and procedures to diagnose hemorrhoids, a colonoscopy may be performed if the patient:

  • Has symptoms that may suggest another digestive disease
  • Has not had a colonoscopy within the last 10 years
  • Is at high risk for colon cancer
NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

Hemorrhoids can be treated with over-the-counter medications. Prior to treating hemorrhoids with these medications, it is important to first consult a doctor who can accurately diagnose hemorrhoids and confirm that the symptoms are not indicating a more serious digestive disease. When over-the-counter medications do not relieve the pain and symptoms of hemorrhoids, treatment options can include office procedures to shrink the hemorrhoids or surgery to remove the hemorrhoids.