Approximately, 75% of all adults in the U.S. will experience hemorrhoids at some point in their lives. Internal hemorrhoids, which lie inside the rectum, usually have no symptoms and most people are not aware of them because they're not generally painful. However, they may cause painless rectal bleeding if symptoms do appear.

You may not notice that you have internal hemorrhoids unless you notice streaks of blood on in the stool or blood on toilet paper. Straining when passing a stool may cause bleeding. Straining can also push an internal hemorrhoid so that it protrudes through the anus; this is called a protruding or prolapsed hemorrhoid.

By contrast, external hemorrhoids lie under the skin around the anus. They can become very itchy and may bleed. Sometimes, the blood may accumulate and form a thrombus (clot), which can be painful and the area may swell and become inflamed. External hemorrhoids are more likely to be painful.

Spectrum Health’s Gastroenterology and Gastrointestinal Surgery programs are ranked nationally as one of the top 50 programs by U.S. News & World Report.

Our team of board-certified gastroenterologists specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the digestive tract, liver and pancreas. Our advanced technologies and treatment options include minimally invasive outpatient endoscopic procedures as an alternative to complex invasive surgeries.

Treatment options

When over-the-counter creams and medications don't seem to be helping, seeking treatment from a specialist for your hemorrhoids may be the next step. At Spectrum Health, our gastroenterologists and colorectal surgeons specialize in treating hemorrhoids and bring a wealth of experience and treatment options, including sclerotherapy and minimally invasive surgery.

Diet and nutrition counseling
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Even if you've tried dietary measures, talking to a dietitian may help. Our dietitians have more ways to boost fiber and fluids to help soften stools. Less strain means reduced pressure on your hemorrhoids.

Topical prescription medicine
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Your doctor can prescribe stronger topical and swelling relievers. There are other medicines that can speed relief from irritation, too. Let's find the best ones for you.

Stool softeners
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Stool softeners and fiber supplements may help. Your doctor can prescribe stronger options if you've had little luck with over-the-counter brands.

Procedure for prolapse and hemorrhoids surgery
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This minimally invasive procedure is also called a stapled hemorrhoidopexy. What you need to know is that it results in less pain and shorter hospital stays.

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