Leech Therapy for Hemorrhoids or Piles
Hemorrhoids are defined as dilated plexus (network) of superior haemorrhoidal veins, in relation to the anal canal. Hemorrhoids have become very common disease occurs in both male and female. They are the swollen veins present in the anus and the lower rectum and resembles like varicose veins. Leech therapy for hemorrhoids or piles can help to reduce swelling and pain.
Types of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are classified into three groups:-
- Primary /idiopathic hemorrhoids
- Secondary hemorrhoids
- Depending upon the location of hemorrhoids.
The causes for primary hemorrhoids are:-
- Standing position:- The standing position of the human being is partly responsible for piles because blood has to flow against gravity.
- Anatomical factor:- The veins passing through the submucosa of the rectum, get constricted during the act of passing stool.
- Familial or genetic:- In familial or genetic the absence of valve or congenital weakness of the vein wall is seen.
- Constipation:- The patient with constipation has to exert excessive straining which causes the protrusion of piles in the anus.
Thus in primary causes, gravity, straining and irregular bowel habits are important factors that are responsible for the development of piles.
The causes of secondary hemorrhoids are:-
- Carcinoma of the rectum:- The carcinoma (cancer) of rectum causes blocking of veins which produces back pressure and can manifest in the form of piles.
- Portal hypertension:- It is an uncommon cause of pile and produces rectal varices.
- Pregnancy:- In pregnancy due to the compression on superior rectal veins or due to increased level of progesterone which causes relaxes smooth muscle in the wall of the veins can cause hemorrhoids.
This is further divided into three:-
- Internal hemorrhoids:- It is present above the dentate line (this line divide upper two-third and lower third of anal canal).
- External hemorrhoids:- It is present at the anal verge, covered with skin.
- Interno-external:- In this, both varieties are present together.
Location of Hemorrhoids in the Body
Classically situated in the 3,7,11 o’clock position (left lateral, right posterior and right anteriorly).
Superior haemorrhoidal artery (vein) gives two branches on the right side and one branch on the left side. Hence, piles are two on the right side and one on the left side.
Sign and Symptoms of Hemorrhoids
- There can be painless bleeding which is fresh bleeding occurs after passing of stool. This can cause anemia in the patient.
- Minor trauma to the hemorrhoids can precipitate bleeding.
- As the straining increases, the hemorrhoids partly prolapsed out.
- Patient complains of pain and discomfort.
- Most of the patients complain of constipation.
- Discharge of mucus and irritation of the perianal skin which causes severe itching.
Grades of Hemorrhoids
- 1:- Hemorrhoids which bleeds
- 2:- Partly prolapsed which after passing stool returns back
- 3:- When prolapsed hemorrhoids have to replaced digitally
- 4:- Permanently prolapsed hemorrhoids outside.
Investigations For Hemorrhoid Problem
Per rectal examination is done to rule out cancer of the rectum or any other causes for bleeding per rectum. Hemorrhoids cannot be felt by rectal examination unless they are thrombosed or fibrosed.
The examination of Hemorrhoids is done with an instrument called proctoscopy. During the examination the obturator is removed, hemorrhoids prolapsed into the lumen of proctoscopy as cherry red masses.
Hemorrhoid and Its Complications
- It can cause chronic anemia.
- A prolapse hemorrhoids outside presents with pain which is very severe in nature in the perianal region.
- Venous congestion and swelling or strangulation will cause If the hemorrhoids are gripped by the internal sphincter.
- If strangulation occurs there are chances of development of suppuration, ulceration, thrombosis, fibrosis, gangrene, and pyemia in the hemorrhoids.
Why Leech Therapy for Hemorrhoids or Piles?
Hemorrhoids in ancient times (Ayurveda) were known as arsha which affects all the economical group of people. This disease has its own complications which are not so severe but it should be treated soon as the patient has severe pain due to which the patient is not able to do their daily routine work.
Leech therapy is used to reduce pain. This method of treatment not only relieves the pain but also increases the quality of life.
The procedure of Leech Therapy
- Before applying leech on the affected area it should be cleaned and dried well. Now leech is placed on the part so it can get attached to a place of pile mass.
- If leech does not get attached to the pile mass than with the help of the needle the pile mass is pricked to bleed.
- During the sucking of blood by a leech, the patient can have mild pain and itching at the pile mass.
- Now once the swelling of the pile gets reduced, the leech is removed. Now the part should be cleaned by applying the cold water and after that apply honey and dressing is done.
Benefits and Side Effects of Leech Therapy for Hemorrhoids
Here are some benefits for leech therapy for hemorrhoids
Benefits of Leech Therapy in Hemorrhoids
- It reduces pain and swelling.
- For the complication of piles like thromboses piles, the leech has shown the thrombolytic effects by which the normal circulation of blood is maintained.
- This procedure is painless and has local analgesic action.
- Leeches have anti-inflammatory action and help in reducing the inflammation at the site.
- It gives symptomatic relief to the pain so that the patient can do their day to day routine work.
- It improves the immune system and also the regeneration of the cells.
- The pus and mucous discharge from the piles also get subside as leeches as antimicrobial and mucolytic properties.
Side-Effects of Leech Therapy in Hemorrhoids
For applying the leeches one has to classify the leeches into poisonous and non-poisonous.
If the poisonous leech applied on the affected part it can produce following side-effects –
- Itching at the bitten part
- The patient can be faint
- Burning sensation at the part
- Myalgia (pain in muscles)
Leech therapy is the treatment in the initial stage. Most people choose this method because of painless treatment and this method provides relief in the symptoms of piles.
This method even reduces the chances of surgery. If the piles get thrombosis surgery is contraindicated. So for the treatment of thrombosis piles and for reducing the postoperative complication, this leech therapy method is very effective.
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