Hemorrhoids — painful, swollen blood vessels in the rectum — are a common problem among millions of Americans. The most common symptom is rectal bleeding associated with bowel movements. If medications aren’t helping your hemorrhoids or other therapies have failed, visit double board-certified radiologist Yosef Golowa, MD, FSIR. Dr. Golowa specializes in minimally invasive hemorrhoidal artery embolization to shrink and destroy troublesome hemorrhoids without surgery at his practice in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, New York. Call Dr. Golowa’s office today or book an appointment online to find out how embolization provides relief from hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids are caused by enlarged blood vessels in the rectum or anus. Internal hemorrhoids develop just inside the anal canal. You might not notice them unless they bleed during a bowel movement. Sometimes internal hemorrhoids drop out of the anus (prolapse), cutting off the blood supply in the affected veins.
External hemorrhoids can be very painful because the anal opening has many nerve endings. Blood clots sometimes form in external hemorrhoids, turning them into hard, painful lumps (thrombosed hemorrhoids).
Hemorrhoids can cause symptoms like:
You might be able to see external or prolapsed hemorrhoids. They look like red or purple lumps coming out of the anus.
The most likely cause of hemorrhoids is straining during a bowel movement. If you regularly get constipation (hard, dry stools that are difficult to pass), you’re more likely to develop hemorrhoids. Other things that raise your risk of hemorrhoids include:
You should avoid sitting on the toilet longer than you need to because toilet design puts pressure on hemorrhoidal veins.
Over-the-counter creams, pads, and suppositories (pills inserted in the rectum) can help with the pain and itching. If your hemorrhoids are severe or frequently return, treatments that can help include:
Dr. Golowa specializes in a treatment called hemorrhoidal embolization.
Hemorrhoidal embolization is a non-surgical treatment that reduces blood flow to internal hemorrhoids, causing them to shrink down and stop bleeding. Dr. Golowa makes a small puncture into a blood vessel in the groin and inserts a thin catheter (flexible tube). He uses fluoroscopy (X-ray guidance) to follow the catheter’s path to the rectal artery.
Dr. Golowa places microspheres (tiny gel particles), platinum coils, or both into the ends of the arteries to seal them. Hemorrhoidal artery embolization takes about 45 minutes and is a painless technique. You can go home after the sedative Dr. Golowa gives you wears off, and you should be able to return to work the next day.
Call Yosef Golowa, MD, FSIR, today or book an appointment online to find out more about hemorrhoidal embolization and other nonsurgical solutions to hemorrhoids.