Hemorrhoids are a swollen vein in the anus or rectum, the last part of the colon. Thrombosed hemorrhoids occur when a blood clot forms within the hemorrhoid. The blood clot blocks blood flow and causes painful symptoms.
Most thrombosed hemorrhoids are external, but they can also be internal. External hemorrhoids form in the tissue outside the anus, while internal ones are found on the inside.
Thrombosed hemorrhoids are also known as acute hemorrhoids or perianal thrombosis . Perianal is a general term for the area around the anus.
Thrombosed hemorrhoids can appear as a single lump or a circle of lumps. In most cases, the body reabsorbs the blood clot and the symptoms disappear.
Thrombosed hemorrhoids are not considered dangerous, but they can be very painful. If symptoms persist, there are several treatment options, from topical creams to surgery.
This article looks at the causes, symptoms, and treatment of thrombosed hemorrhoids.
Causes of hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids form when the blood vessels that line the anal canal swell. In most cases, hemorrhoids are painless. However, when they clot, they can cause pain.
Hemorrhoids are caused by increased pressure on the veins in the rectum. Some possible triggers include:
- Pregnancy due to pressure caused by the baby
- Labor due to tremors during labor
- Exercise, especially repetitive weight lifting
- Long session
- Constipation , which can cause straining on the toilet.
- Diarrhea or loose stools
- Obesity or excessive body fat
- Anal sex
- Don't use the bathroom regularly
If you have hemorrhoids, they can be thrombosed. Health professionals do not know why some people have blood clots in hemorrhoids, while others do not.
Thrombosed hemorrhoids symptoms
A thrombosed hemorrhoid usually looks like a small lump on the outside of the anus. A blood clot inside will make it dark and bluish.
Thrombosed hemorrhoids look different from other hemorrhoids. External hemorrhoids without thrombosis will look like a rubbery bump without a blue color.
Symptoms of thrombosed hemorrhoids include:
- Pain when sitting, walking, or defecating
- Bleeding during bowel movements
- Itching around the anus
- Swelling or bumps around the anus.
The pain will be most severe during the first 24 to 48 hours. After this time, the blood clot will slowly reabsorb. When this happens, the pain will start to go away.
If over-the-counter hemorrhoid medications don't relieve pain, you may have a thrombosed hemorrhoid. This is because the pain is not superficial. Instead, it is due to pressure and swelling within the tissue.
If you have a high fever and thrombosed hemorrhoids, see your doctor. Hemorrhoids can become infected, which can cause a perianal abscess . It is a painful pocket of pus that forms in the top layer of tissue around the anus.
Look for a boil-like lump that may be red and hot. See your doctor if you suspect a perianal abscess. It should be drained as soon as possible.
An untreated perianal abscess can lead to an anal fistula . This is an abnormal connection between the skin and the anus. Surgery may be required to correct the fistula.
Never ignore rectal bleeding or assume it is related to hemorrhoids. This could be a sign of something serious, like anal cancer or rectal cancer. See your doctor if you have rectal bleeding.
Thrombosed hemorrhoids treatment
Most thrombosed hemorrhoids heal on their own. It may take two to three weeks for them to completely disappear. In the meantime, there are options for personal care. In extreme cases, you may want to consider surgery.
There are several things you can do at home to improve your symptoms, including:
- Hip baths, shallow warm baths to clean the area around the anus.
- Diet changes to keep stools soft. Eating lots of fiber and lots of fluids can help.
- Avoid straining during bowel movements. Try leaning forward, relaxing, and breathing slowly. Let the chair come out in due time.
If these things don't make you feel better, see your doctor. Topical remedies like ointments and creams can help. AneCream ( lidocaine ) ointment is an over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatment.
Newer medications, such as Adalat CC topical (nifedipine), may be more effective treatments. Some research suggests that nifedipine may help relieve symptoms faster than lidocaine.
If treatment doesn't work, your doctor may suggest surgery. A simple procedure can remove a blood clot. This is a good option if you have severe pain.
Surgery for thrombosed hemorrhoids is usually done in a doctor's office. It is considered safe and generally does not lead to complications or new problems caused by the operation.
Surgery can also prevent the recurrence of thrombosed hemorrhoids. Patients are usually happy with the results.
In most cases, thrombosed hemorrhoids go away on their own. You can treat the symptoms yourself. Hip baths, a high-fiber diet, and topical ointments can help. Don't strain when using the bathroom. If the pain is severe or if other treatments don't work, a simple surgical procedure may be required.
Hemorrhoids are caused by increased pressure on the veins in the rectum. They can clot if a blood clot forms inside them.
Thrombosed hemorrhoids can be painful. They can also bleed and itch.
In most cases, thrombosed hemorrhoids go away on their own. You should feel better in a couple of days.
Until then, you can treat your symptoms with sitz baths, a high-fiber diet, and topical ointments. If your thrombosed hemorrhoid does not improve, see your doctor. A healthcare professional can help you find successful treatment.