Can Hemorrhoids Grow Back After They Have Been Treated?

Medically reviewed by: Gary H. Hoffman, MD

Suffering through hemorrhoids is not something most people would choose to do repeatedly, no matter the treatment they required. Still, some people experience the pain, itching, burning, and rectal bleeding associated with hemorrhoids over and over. The risk of your hemorrhoids growing back after treatment depends on the type of treatment you received and a number of other factors. The good news is that we can work with you to choose treatments with the lowest recurrence rates and recommend a good follow up plan to reduce your risk.

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Our goal is to ensure you get relief from the pain, itching, bleeding, and other issues, as quickly as possible. In addition, we want to help you avoid recurrent symptoms that interfere with your regular activities and affect your quality of life.

What Treatments Have the Lowest Recurrence Rate?

When someone comes into our office and we diagnose them with hemorrhoids, our first line treatment for minor or moderate cases is often at-home treatment. It includes topical medication, sitz baths, stool softeners, and a change to a higher fiber diet. While this is often very effective in stopping symptoms and giving hemorrhoids time to resolve, it does little to prevent future recurrences unless you stick to the diet and other recommended lifestyle changes.

More severe cases or those that do not improve during at-home treatment may require a non-operative treatment. Many of these can be done in our office. They include techniques such as painless injections called sclerotherapy, or rubber band ligation. In most cases, non-operative techniques cause less postoperative pain than invasive surgical procedures, but also have a higher recurrence rate. This is because sclerotherapy and banding are each more of symptomatic relief, rather than curative treatment. When they do recur, we may be able to treat them with diet and over-the-counter medications.

When it comes to the most severe cases or those that do not respond to any other treatment, you may require a traditional hemorrhoidectomy or procedure for prolapse and hemorrhoids (PPH, or stapled hemorrhoidopexy). Our surgeons perform both of these surgeries on a regular basis. They both have a very low recurrence rate. When possible, we opt for PPH treatment of prolapsed internal hemorrhoids. This offers the least pain and the quickest recovery of either operation, with a recurrence rate on par with the more invasive traditional hemorrhoid removal procedure.

What Can I Do to Prevent My Hemorrhoids From Coming Back?

While a few people will experience their hemorrhoids growing back after treatment, there are some actions you can take to prevent hemorrhoid recurrence. When we treat a patient for hemorrhoids, we also advise a number of lifestyle changes that will reduce the risk of your hemorrhoid issues coming back. This plan addresses many of the factors that likely contributed to your hemorrhoids in the first place.

To prevent your hemorrhoids from coming back, you will need to take action to prevent constipation. This usually includes a high fiber diet rich in fruits and vegetables, drinking more water, and taking regular walks or getting other exercise. You will also need to minimize the time you spend sitting on the toilet, and making a point to get up and exercise once every couple of hours if you have a sedentary job.

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