Medical Definition of Hemorrhoid

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Hemorrhoid: A dilated (enlarged) vein in the walls of the anus and sometimes around the rectum, usually caused by untreated constipation but occasionally associated with chronic diarrhea.

The symptoms start with bleeding after defecation. If untreated, hemorrhoids can worsen, protruding from the anus.

In their worst stage, they must be returned to the anal cavity manually. Fissures can develop, and these may cause intense discomfort. Treatment is by changing the diet to prevent constipation and avoid further irritation, the use of topical medication, and sometimes surgery or sclerotherapy.

Also known as piles.

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Reviewed on 12/12/2018

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