Hemorrhoids, commonly known as piles, are swollen veins in the lower rectum and anus, similar to varicose veins. These veins become inflamed due to increased pressure in the area, often caused by straining during bowel movements, constipation, or sitting for prolonged periods. Hemorrhoids can be an uncomfortable and sometimes painful condition, but with proper treatment and care, most people can find relief. This page aims to help you understand the symptoms of hemorrhoids, the available treatment options, and the role of sacral nerve stimulation in managing this condition.

What are Hemorrhoids?

There are two types of hemorrhoids: internal and external. Internal hemorrhoids develop within the rectum and are usually painless, whereas external hemorrhoids occur under the skin around the anus and can cause discomfort or pain. Hemorrhoids can range in size and severity, with some people experiencing minimal symptoms, while others may have more severe cases.


Common symptoms of hemorrhoids include:

  • Itching and irritation around the anus
  • Pain and discomfort, especially during bowel movements
  • Swelling and inflammation near the anus
  • Bleeding during or after bowel movements
  • A lump near the anus, which may be sensitive or painful

Treatment Options

The treatment for hemorrhoids depends on the severity of the condition. For mild cases, conservative treatments can often provide relief. These include:

  • Over-the-counter creams and ointments to reduce inflammation and pain
  • Sitz baths or warm water soaks to soothe the area
  • Increasing fiber intake and staying hydrated to help prevent constipation
  • Avoiding straining during bowel movements
  • Using moist towelettes instead of dry toilet paper to minimize irritation

For more severe cases, medical interventions may be necessary. These can include:

  • Rubber band ligation: A procedure that involves placing a small rubber band around the base of the hemorrhoid to cut off its blood supply, causing it to shrink and fall off
  • Sclerotherapy: An injection of a chemical solution that causes the hemorrhoid to shrink
  • Infrared coagulation: A method that uses infrared light to create scar tissue, which cuts off the hemorrhoid’s blood supply
  • Hemorrhoidectomy: A surgical procedure to remove large or severe hemorrhoids

Sacral Nerve Stimulation and Implants

Sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) is a relatively new treatment option that can help manage the symptoms of hemorrhoids, particularly for patients who have not found relief through conservative treatments or other medical interventions. SNS involves the use of an implantable device that delivers mild electrical pulses to the sacral nerves, which control bowel and bladder functions. By stimulating these nerves, SNS can improve blood flow to the rectal area and decrease the pressure that contributes to hemorrhoid development.

The sacral nerve stimulation procedure involves implanting a small device under the skin, typically in the upper buttock area. This device sends electrical pulses to the sacral nerves through a thin wire. The intensity and frequency of the stimulation can be adjusted to suit the patient’s needs and provide optimal symptom relief.

Hemorrhoids can be an uncomfortable and painful condition, but with proper care and treatment, most people can find relief. Understanding the symptoms and available treatment options, including sacral nerve stimulation, can help you make informed decisions about your care and improve your quality of life. If you suspect you have hemorrhoids or are experiencing persistent symptoms, consult your healthcare provider to discuss the best course of action for your situation.