Hemorrhoid therapy

Hemorrhoids that are not yet so pronounced, you may be able to treat yourself at first. However, the enlarged vascular cushions cannot be "shrunk" again in this way. In the case of advanced stage hemorrhoidal disease, a visit to the doctor's office is always advisable.

This is especially true if you discover blood in your stool. A possible contact person is your family doctor or a specialist for the rectum. Treatment depends on the extent of hemorrhoidal disease and symptoms.

Treat hemorrhoids yourself - tips

  • Avoid constipation: consume enough fiber and drink plenty of fluids (1.5 to 2 liters daily). Good sources of fiber are whole grain products (rice, pasta, bread), fruit (including dried fruit), vegetables, legumes (peas, lentils, beans), seeds (linseed, psyllium) and nuts. Sufficient exercise also stimulates the bowels and counteracts constipation.
  • Make sure you have healthy toilet habits: Don’t delay going to the toilet, only go when you really have to and don’t sit on the toilet for too long.
  • Anal hygiene: Clean the anal region thoroughly after using the toilet. However, water may be sufficient. Excessive anal hygiene is counterproductive: it is better to avoid washing lotions or moist toilet paper, which often contain various irritating additives.
  • Sitz baths: These are a proven household remedy for hemorrhoids. You can either use pure water for the sitz bath or add arnica, camomile, oak bark, tea tree oil or witch hazel. The substances from these plants have an anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Ointments: Ointments with zinc, panthenol, witch hazel or aloe vera are intended to relieve skin irritation and itching. There are also some ointments that require a prescription, for example with the active ingredient lidocaine, which has a local anesthetic effect. Ointments with cortisone are intended to slow down the inflammation. However, you should not use such ointments on a long-term basis.
  • Anal tampons and suppositories: Some active ingredients are also available in the form of suppositories or anal tampons (suppositories with gauze strips). Whether they actually help with hemorrhoids has not yet been proven.

Hemorrhoids: Treatment by specialists

In the case of advanced hemorrhoids and severe symptoms, self-treatment is usually no longer sufficient. Doctors have various options for improving hemorrhoidal disease. Which treatment you choose always depends on the degree of hemorrhoids.

Rubber band ligation – “pinching off” hemorrhoids

Rubber band or rubber ring ligation is a treatment option for grade 2 hemorrhoids, sometimes also for grade 3. Using a proctoscope, the doctor inserts a tiny rubber ring into the anus and places it over the enlarged hemorrhoids. The ring blocks the blood flow and the tissue dies after a few days. The body removes both the tissue and the ring with the stool. Even with rubber band ligation, a single treatment is usually not enough. Doctors repeat the procedure within a few weeks to “catch” all the hemorrhoids. Side effects may include pain, bleeding, thrombosis or abscesses.

Hemorrhoid surgery

Hemorrhoids can also be surgically removed as part of an operation. Hemorrhectomy is the medical term for this. This is an option in cases of advanced disease (grade 3 or higher) or if other treatments have not been sufficiently effective.

For patients

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For referrer

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University Hospital Zurich
Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Rämistrasse 100
8091 Zurich

Tel. +41 44 255 85 48
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