Hemorrhoids are one of the most common reasons to visit a colorectal doctor. They are characterized by inflamed and dilated veins of the anus. Roughly 3 quarters of the human population suffers from hemorrhoids. Since they are generally painless and internal, people never get alerted of their presence.
There are numerous causes of hemorrhoids, and they exhibit many symptoms. An increase in pressure and trauma to the rectum walls typically lead to hemorrhoids. The following are the known causes of hemorrhoids:
- Prolonged sitting and straining during bowel movements
- Obesity and physical strain
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Chronic constipation and diarrhea
- Anal intercourse
- Old age and loss of muscle tone in the anus
- A low-fiber diet
Pain and irritation do sometimes accompany the condition. Doctors will drain a hemorrhoid to manage the pain and discomfort in some cases. Before you ask whether you can drain these swollen structures yourself, it is better to know more about them. Here is a more thought-provoking question: should you even attempt to?
Types of Hemorrhoids
There are three types of hemorrhoids based on where they are located. All of them can develop complications, but, fortunately, they tend to resolve on their own. Irrespective of their location, they look like swollen rubbery lumps, which can be hard or painful to touch.
Internal hemorrhoids are located in the rectum and typically show no symptoms. Symptomatic internal hemorrhoids look like moist bumps protruding from the anus. They are prone to irritation and rupture, which causes them to bleed.
Bleeding is not always painful, although prolapsing might be. Prolapsed hemorrhoids might be the only indicator that you have internal hemorrhoids. They can make sitting down an uncomfortable process and require medical attention.
Due to the presence of numerous pain fibers underneath the skin outside the anus, external hemorrhoids can be severely painful. They look like swollen lumps of stretched skin.
External hemorrhoids can cause scarring or splitting of the skin, resulting in skin tags formation. This is a complication of hemorrhoidal disease because skin tags can cause itching and irritation of the anus; they can also become infected and aggravate the condition.
Internal and external hemorrhoids can become thrombosed if blood clots inside the swollen vessels. This entails certain complications.
What are Thrombosed Hemorrhoids?
Thrombosed hemorrhoids are chronic internal or external hemorrhoids that develop blood clots. More than one structure can become thrombosed, and it causes extreme discomfort to a person. The swollen bumps often appear red or purple due to the underlying clot and are severely painful to touch.
Blood clots obstruct the vessels and increase pressure in the hemorrhoidal structure. Besides intense pain, the increased pressure causes the skin to stretch and split. It is common to observe scars, tears, and cracks in the skin near thrombosed hemorrhoids.
Elevated pressure levels will sometimes block blood flow permanently and cause hemorrhoids to become strangulated. Strangulation is a medical emergency because it can lead to necrosis of nearby tissue. Besides that, thrombosed hemorrhoids can also cause perianal abscesses and fistulas, which are conditions related to pus-filled infected skin tags.
When are Hemorrhoids Drained?
Severely swollen hemorrhoids cause excruciating pain to a patient. Not only this, but they can become thrombosed too. Blood clots in thrombosed hemorrhoids can get reabsorbed but may erode through the skin and cause blood to pool inside the stretched-out skin.
Thrombosed external hemorrhoids are also really painful because of their location. A person suffering from them finds it hard to sit down, lie on their back, or pass bowel movements. For the sake of managing these symptoms, doctors recommend a procedure called an external thrombectomy.
Thrombectomy is a procedure in which a doctor will make an incision on the clot and attempt to drain it. Draining a hemorrhoid can help relieve pain associated with the condition and prevent complications from developing. A medicine, such as local anesthesia, is used to numb the area before an incision is made.
Drainage is recommended within the first 72 hours of the appearance of symptoms. Treatment after that will likely aggravate pain and lead to medical complications.
Can I Drain a Thrombosed Hemorrhoid Myself?
Technically, you can drain a hemorrhoid yourself because it only requires a sharp instrument to make a small cut. But should you?
According to doctors, you shouldn’t drain a hemorrhoid yourself. Various anorectal diseases share symptoms of hemorrhoids like itching, irritation, and rectal bleeding. Moreover, bleeding is a vital indicator of colorectal cancer.
Draining a hemorrhoid without an accurate diagnosis will do more harm than good. Knowing more about your condition is essential before trying different treatment plans. You can always take frequent Sitz baths to manage the pain.
The purpose of drainage is to release pooled blood to manage pain and swelling. A doctor can assess the condition of your swollen hemorrhoid to suggest alternative treatment plans. Attempting to drain an extremely swollen thrombosed hemorrhoid might cause severe or uncontrolled bleeding.
A person with little to no medical experience will fail to assess their situation and stop the bleeding. Severe blood loss can lead to unexplained anemic reactions making the predicament worse than before.
You can also put pressure on your hemorrhoid by attempting to drain it yourself; this can also cause the vessels to rupture and result in a wound. Wounds can become infected and cause the formation of fistulas and perianal abscesses.
In conclusion, you should avoid draining a hemorrhoid yourself because of the health risks it entails. Uncontrolled blood loss, increased pain, infection of perianal tissues, and incomplete clot removal are just some of the health concerns related to draining hemorrhoids.
Make sure to get a proper diagnosis to rule out other diseases. We hope this article helped you gain more insight into hemorrhoids and their treatment plans!