Pedro Gus, MD., Proctology. Full Professor of Surgery at the Rio Grande do Sul State University School of Medicine (UFRGS).


Hemorrhoids are swollen veins (varicose) in the rectum and anal canal.

They may present with symptoms or not. The symptoms and signs range in number and intensity. There may be pain, bleeding, increase in the volume around the anus (more often found with the evacuation effort); these being the most frequent complaints.

Many times hemorrhoids are not reported by the patient, but they're confirmed by the doctor at the specialized physical examination.

In any situation, the type of treatment is different for each patient.

Also, everyone must be aware that, at the examination of the anorectal region, the early diagnosis of hemorrhoids doesn't exempt the patient from undergoing thorough examination.

What's a thorough examination?

Observation of the anorectal region:
On observing the region, the doctor may find skin lesions, tumors, external hemorrhoids.
Performance of the digital rectal exam:
To check out the conditions of the rectal muscle, presence of tumors in the rectum and anal canal, conditions of the prostate in men, pelvic masses, or altered position and size of the female organs.
Endoscopy or rectosigmoidoscopy:

To view hemorrhoids, tumors or other alterations in the mucosa of this bowel segment, and enable biopsy, which is carried out without pain (or need of anesthesia).

The treatment varies, ranging from a topic treatment with ointments and suppositories, or rubber band litigation (made in the physician's practice) to microsurgery, cauterization and surgical treatment.

Questions you can make to your doctor

Is hemorrhoid treatment always surgical?

Are hemorrhoids a hereditary disease?

Are alcohol and spice causing factors?

Can hemorrhoids come back after surgery?