Haemorrhoids (piles)

Itchy, lumpy piles in the anus can be very embarrassing
and cause considerable distress and discomfort
for many for men and women

Itchy, lumpy piles in the anus can be very embarrassing and cause considerable distress and discomfort for many for men and women

What are haemorrhoids (piles)?

Commonly referred to as ‘piles’, haemorrhoids is a vascular condition where the blood vessels around or in the anus become enlarged, causing symptoms ranging from small, round lumps to bulging/hanging veins which protrude from your bottom.

Haemorrhoids is a condition that causes great discomfort to around 8 million Brits – possibly more, as many are too embarrassed to seek treatment. Sometimes the condition passes within a few days, but for some people, it can continue as an ongoing affliction.

Symptoms of Haemorrhoids

  • Itchy bottom around the anus area
  • Soreness around the anus
  • Bright red blood after defecating
  • Feeling like you still need a poo even after you’ve been
  • Mucus after wiping your bottom, or in your underwear
  • Noticeable lumpiness around your anus
  • Pain and discomfort around your anus
  • Protruding veins

Causes/risk factors for haemorrhoids

  • The risk of piles increases as we age
  • They are more common if you often get constipated, or spend a lot of time straining on the toilet
  • Many pregnant women suffer from piles due to hormonal changes and pressure on the abdomen
  • Heavy lifting can also cause piles

Self help treatments

If you are suffering from piles, it is important to take care about how you use the toilet:

  • Do not spend too long on the toilet. Never strain or force a stool/faeces
  • Do not wipe your bottom too hard
  • Do not ignore or delay the urge to poo

Constipation is very commonly a trigger for haemorrhoids and can make recovery much more difficult, so try to:

  • Check you have plenty of fibre in your diet (e.g. fruit/veg/wholegrain)
  • Ensure you drink plenty of water for good hydration
  • Keep active with regular exercise and activity
  • Avoid anything that could cause constipation e.g. codeine painkillers

In terms of handling the piles themselves:

  • A pharmacist can recommend creams to ease the pain, itching and swelling of piles. They can also recommend treatment to help constipation and soften poo if required
  • Use cold packs to ease discomfort
  • Do not take ibuprofen if your piles are bleeding

Medical treatments

If you have prolonged trouble with haemorrhoids and have not found relief through self-help measures, there are medical treatments that can help.

The NHS advise visiting the GP if your symptoms last more than 7 days, if the condition recurs or if there is a concern about infection (e.g. pus, oozing, high temperature).

Common hospital treatments include:

  • Ligation (rubber band to get rid of piles)
  • Sclerotherapy injections to destroy the offending veins

For more severe cases, surgery is a last resort option, whereby the piles can be surgically removed. These generally involve general anaesthetic and a hospital stay. Potential solutions are:

  • Cut out (haemorrhoidectomy)
  • Stapled back into the anus (haemorrhoidopexy)
  • Stitched in such a way as to cut the blood supply and shrink the haemorrhoids (haemorrhoidal artery ligation or THD procedure)

Rafaelo haemorrhoid treatment

Now there is an alternative. Cosmedics Skin Clinics in London offers a novel high tech haemorrhoid treatment using radio frequency technology.

Haemorrhoid treatment is available in our Harley Street clinic with Consultant Colorectal Surgeon, Mr Alex von Roon and offers a series of benefits for those who would prefer to arrange this treatment privately:

  • Highly effective – around 90% success rate
  • Same day service – walk in walk out procedure with no overnight stay
  • Local anaesthetic only
  • Single treatment is usually sufficient
  • Minimal / low discomfort during treatment
  • Quick and less painful recovery than surgery
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Treatment Time

Less than 30 minutes

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Recovery Time

1-2 weeks

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Results Duration


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