Without medical expertise, knowing which doctor you should visit over your hemorrhoid condition can be difficult. There are a few doctors who may be able to help your symptoms, but it will depend on your individual experience. Minor cases may only need a primary care physician, while others may need a surgeon. In most cases, if you have the time, it’s better to be preferred by your physician.
What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are swollen lumps that form on the inside and outside of your rectum. They can be painful and irritable, and may even cause rectal bleeding. The lumps are a result of inflamed and swollen veins inside the rectum. Aside from bleeding, you may find your rectum to be both itchy and irritable, and it can be difficult to relieve.
Generally, hemorrhoids are only a minor condition and should clear up within a few days. It’s also a very common condition, but there are some occasions when you would need to see a doctor over your hemorrhoids.
When to see a doctor for hemorrhoids?
While most cases of hemorrhoids will clear up over the course of a few days, there are some cases that call for a doctor’s input. Your hemorrhoids may last longer than a week or could cause greater complications than just minor hemorrhoid symptoms.
You should call your doctor as soon as possible if your hemorrhoid symptoms haven’t gone away after a week.
If your condition is worsening each day, it could be a sign of a great complication than just a hemorrhoid. You may be experiencing hemorrhoid thrombosis, in which a professional would have to intervene.
Bleeding or a lack of bowel control are also severe symptoms that you should contact your doctor about. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Which doctor should you see for hemorrhoids?
Depending on your condition, you may require the expertise of a specialist, in which case a primary care physician isn’t going to be enough.
Primary care physician
If you’re unsure of how severe your symptoms are, you should visit a primary care physician first. You can discuss your symptoms, as well as have a physical examination done to get a better understanding of your condition.
Your primary care physician can use your symptoms and condition to help you find the right specialist for the job, as over-the-counter treatments may not be effective for your case.
A gastroenterologist is qualified to diagnose your hemorrhoid condition, as well as prescribe you the suitable treatment for it. However, they’re not always the right choice. The gastroenterologist may decide that colonoscopy is the best course of action, which will allow them to get a better idea of your condition.
Hemorrhoid ligation or hemorrhoid banding may be performed by your gastroenterologist, which is the act of tying a band around a hemorrhoid, cutting off its blood circulation. Within a week, your hemorrhoid should fall off completely. Note, that procedure this can cause bleeding, but it will remove the swollen hemorrhoid.
A proctologist, or surgeon, would be necessary if your hemorrhoid needed surgically removed. Severe cases will require a hemorrhoidectomy, in which the surgeon will remove your external hemorrhoids completely. If your hemorrhoids are causing a blood clot externally, this is known as hemorrhoid thrombosis. Your proctologist may need to perform a hemorrhoid thrombectomy to prevent further complications.
Booking an appointment with your doctor can take time, and speaking with a doctor face to face about it might be embarrassing – especially if you’re unsure of your condition. Speaking to an online doctor can help you to get professional advice, without having to visit the physician’s office. Some online doctors will also be able to prescribe you your medication to help relieve the symptoms.
How to treat hemorrhoids yourself?
If you haven’t gone to see a doctor, there are a few ways you can relieve your symptoms at home. You don’t always need the help of a doctor, and simply soaking in hot water may help to relieve some of the swelling and the pain – if only temporarily.
You can also help to relieve the pain by using common anti-inflammatory products like aspirin or ibuprofen. While it won’t cure your condition, it will help to bring the swelling down for a short time, giving you some relief throughout the day. No matter how uncomfortable your condition is, do not take more than recommended on the packaging.
There are a few OTC treatments you can get your hands on, but some of them may require your doctor to prescribe them. There are creams to help treat your hemorrhoids, as well as suppositories that you can use at home. This treatment should reduce the swelling as well as relieve the pain that you’re experiencing as a result of the condition.
How can DrHouse help you?
DrHouse can help you to get in touch with a professional doctor within minutes. You don’t have to wait weeks for an appointment, only to be told your condition is a false alarm, or that you’ll just have to wait it out. You can be in contact with a trained doctor, ready to help you at any time of the day.
- Most hemorrhoid cases won’t require you to visit a doctor and will go away within a week of appearing.
- You should visit your primary care physician if your conditions are severe, getting worse each day, or have lasted longer than one week.
- Your primary care physician can help you to decide on the best course of action for your symptoms. They may also refer you to another specialist if your condition can’t be easily treated.
- Your gastroenterologist can diagnose your hemorrhoids, as well as perform internal procedures such as ligation.
- Seeing a proctologist is necessary if your hemorrhoids need to be surgically removed.
- Amy Halverson, Hemorrhoids, Clin Colon Rectal Surg 2007; 20(2): 077-085. DOI: https://www.doi.org/10.1055/s-2007-977485
- Eberspacher C, Mascagni D, Antypas P, et al. External hemorrhoidal thrombosis in the elderly patients: conservative and surgical management. Minerva Chirurgica. 2020 Apr;75(2):117-120. DOI: https://www.doi.org/10.23736/s0026-4733.18.07724-6 . PMID: 30600960.
- Gastroenterologist’s Diary- The Evaluation & Treatment of Hemorrhoids. Colon Surgeons of Charleston. Available from: https://colonsurgeonsofcharleston.com/the-evaluation-treatment-of-hemorrhoids/
- Hemorrhoids Treatment. WebMD. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/understanding-hemorrhoids-treatment-medref
- Albuquerque A. Rubber band ligation of hemorrhoids: A guide for complications. World J Gastrointest Surg. 2016;8(9):614-620. Doi: https://www.doi.org/10.4240/wjgs.v8.i9.614
- Yeo D, Tan KY. Hemorrhoidectomy – making sense of the surgical options. World J Gastroenterol. 2014;20(45):16976-16983. doi:https://www.doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v20.i45.16976