Thrombosed Hemorrhoids: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment 

Hemorrhoids are common health conditions that most individuals experience at least once throughout their lives. In some cases, the hemorrhoid may become thrombosed, which means it contains a blood clot. While not dangerous, they can still be uncomfortable.

Thankfully, there are at-home remedies you can complete to manage your thrombosed hemorrhoids and prevent them from occurring in the first place. Continue reading to learn more.

Table of Contents

What Is a Thrombosed Hemorrhoid?

A hemorrhoid forms when the blood vessels lining the anal cavity become dilated or swollen. They can form inside the anal passage (internal hemorrhoids) or the outside (external hemorrhoids).

A thrombosed hemorrhoid occurs when a blood clot develops inside the hemorrhoid, blocking blood flow and leading to inflamed anal tissues. While thrombosed hemorrhoids are no more dangerous than regular hemorrhoids, they can be very painful. Additionally, if they are ulcerated, they can result in rectal bleeding.

Thrombosed hemorrhoids can occur with either internal or external hemorrhoids.

What Causes a Thrombosed Hemorrhoid?

Hemorrhoids, in general, are often related to someone’s diet and develop when someone exerts more pressure on their anal passage. Some causes of this include:

  • constipation
  • pushing too hard when passing a bowel movement
  • being pregnant
  • having diarrhea
  • giving birth
  • sitting for an extended amount of time

In some cases, blood clots may form inside the hemorrhoid, but scientists are not sure why some hemorrhoids become thrombosed and others do not. 

Thrombosed Hemorrhoid Symptoms

The symptoms of thrombosed hemorrhoids may include:

  • itching around the anus
  • pain when walking, sitting, or passing a bowel movement
  • swelling or lumps around the anus
  • bleeding when passing stool

It is also possible for thrombosed hemorrhoids to become infected, which can cause an abscess. In the case of an abscess, an additional symptom may be a fever.

What Does a Thrombosed Hemorrhoid Look Like?

A thrombosed hemorrhoid often appears as a small lump on the outside of the anus, often accompanied by swelling.

In the case of external thrombosed hemorrhoids, they often appear bluish because of the blood clots within them.

In comparison, internal thrombosed hemorrhoids are often not visible from the outside because they are located inside the anal canal.

Will a Thrombosed Hemorrhoid Go Away?

Many thrombosed hemorrhoids will go away on their own within a few weeks without needing medical treatment. The body will reabsorb the blood clot, and then the pain will dissipate in the days following.

However, if you ever develop a fever along with a thrombosed hemorrhoid, it is crucial to see a healthcare professional immediately; this may be a sign of an infected hemorrhoid that must be drained as soon as possible.

How To Treat a Thrombosed Hemorrhoid?

While most cases of thrombosed hemorrhoids go away on their own, some patients may require medical interventions, such as hemorrhoid cream or surgery.

The most common treatment for a thrombosed hemorrhoid is a thrombectomy, which is a minor surgical procedure that involves a surgeon creating a cut in the hemorrhoid and draining the blood.

Thrombectomy is often most effective when completed a few days after the blood clots have developed. This is not always possible, though, so when a thrombectomy is not effective, another type of surgery may be needed. These options include:

  • Rubber Band Ligation: an elastic band is placed around the hemorrhoid’s base, restricting its blood supply and making it shrink.
  • Hemorrhoidectomy: removal of the hemorrhoid, including the blood vessels and clot. This is a more invasive procedure, so it is only completed in severe cases.
  • Stapled Hemorrhoidopexy: hemorrhoids are stapled in place.

Can You Drain a Thrombosed Hemorrhoid Yourself?

While you can technically drain a thrombosed hemorrhoid yourself because it only requires making a small cut, it is not recommended for many reasons.

The first is that various anorectal diseases can share symptoms with hemorrhoids, and attempting to drain a hemorrhoid without an accurate diagnosis can potentially cause more harm than good.

Additionally, if you attempt to drain a thrombosed hemorrhoid, you may cause severe or uncontrolled bleeding, which may result in severe blood loss. It’s also possible to put unwanted pressure on the hemorrhoid causing the vessels to rupture, resulting in a wound that may become infected.

In short, it’s best to leave the draining of thrombosed hemorrhoids to the professionals.

If you’re looking to ease the symptoms of your thrombosed hemorrhoids, though, alternative home remedies can help to reduce any pain and discomfort from the hemorrhoids, and these options include:

  • sitz bath several times a day
  • hemorrhoid cream
  • pain relievers
  • apply witch hazel to reduce itching and pain
  • stool softeners
  • apply a cold compress or ice pack to the affected area
  • apply aloe vera
  • wear loose cotton clothing

These at-home remedies can help ease pain, itching, and inflammation.

How to Prevent Thrombosed Hemorrhoids?

It’s not always possible to prevent hemorrhoids since some people and their situations (e.g., being pregnant) make them highly likely. However, there are some tips you can follow to reduce your risk of hemorrhoids.

Drink More Water

Water is crucial for helping stool pass through your digestive system, and drinking too little water increases the risk of constipation. To keep your bowel movements regular, make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day.

Be More Active

Sitting for extended periods of time can increase your risk of developing hemorrhoids, so try to get up and walk around frequently to help reduce this risk. It is especially important for those who sit all day, such as office workers or truck drivers, to get up once an hour.

Eat High Fiber Foods

Fiber helps to move stool throughout your digestive system, making bowel movements easier and more regular and preventing hemorrhoids from developing.

Some examples of high-fiber foods include:

  • bran flakes
  • broccoli
  • oatmeal
  • whole-wheat pasta

Avoid Straining on the Toilet

When you are trying to pass a bowel movement, especially if constipated, try to avoid pushing hard. This straining motion is what can cause hemorrhoids to develop. Instead, try taking a stool softener to make it easier to pass the bowel movement.

How Can DrHouse Help You?

DrHouse is here to help you manage your hemorrhoids, whether they are thrombosed or not. We offer a variety of treatments for both acute and chronic cases.

With the DrHouse app, you can see an online doctor whenever you need one. Our doctors are board-certified and trained to diagnose and treat almost any condition, as well as hemorrhoids.

Our clinicians can diagnose your hemorrhoids and provide an appropriate treatment plan tailored to your individual needs, write you an online prescription, and even have it delivered to you!

Key Takeaways

A thrombosed hemorrhoid occurs when a blood clot forms within a hemorrhoid. While not considered a medical emergency, a thrombosed hemorrhoid can be uncomfortable and unpleasant.

Thrombosed hemorrhoids generally go away on their own within a few weeks, and certain at-home remedies can help with the recovery process. If these treatments do not help, surgery may be needed for the thrombosed hemorrhoid and often consists of a simple procedure.

Hemorrhoids cannot always be prevented, but drinking lots of water, eating high-fiber foods, and getting more exercise can help prevent hemorrhoids from developing.

Sources:

Content on the DrHouse website is written by our medical content team and reviewed by qualified MDs, PhDs, NPs, and PharmDs. We follow strict content creation guidelines to ensure accurate medical information. However, this content is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For more information read our medical disclaimer.

Always consult with your physician or other qualified health providers about medical concerns. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it based on what you read on this website.

If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.

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