When should I consider internal hemorrhoids serious enough to have them surgically removed? Is bleeding from the bowel dangerous, even though it may only be in small amounts? Is the operation painful?

Any bleeding from the bowel, however slight, demands instant and full investigation by the doctor.

Many cases of suspected hemorrhoids (commonly known as “piles”) have turned out to be cancer of the rectum, so it is serious.

The examination usually takes only a few minutes. The doctor inserts a metal tube through which he gains a good view of the lining of the lower part of the bowel.

After this, a digital examination is carried out. This usually tells with considerable accuracy if the bleeding is from simple piles, or from something more serious.

If he has any queries, he will order further tests and fuller examinations.

It is usually for the doctor to say if the hemorrhoids seem serious enough to warrant complete surgical removal. In some instances, their injection with special “sclerosing” fluid is enough. This tends to make them shrink and often disappear.

But if the piles are large, and bleeding is frequent and profuse, then surgery is often recommended. This ensures permanent relief, and it is incredible how people will put up with the persistent discomfort of bleeding piles for years, sooner than face an operation.

Enormous amounts of blood loss can occur. Symptoms of weakness, lack of energy, and lassitude can follow. These symptoms are often not related in a person’s mind to the blood loss.

The operation is not a comfortable one. But the first two or three days are the worst. After this, the area of the operation heals up surprisingly quickly, but it will take time to settle down, for it is a very sensitive area.

However, the increased feeling of well-being and renewed vigor is more than adequate compensation for a few days of discomfort.

Remember: Any blood loss from the bowel must be checked immediately by the doctor. This is even more imperative if accompanied by variation in the daily bowel habits (for example, constipation or diarrhea suddenly varying the usual regular routine). Never neglect symptoms that could be vitally important.

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