How Do I Find a Good Hemorrhoid Doctor?

Medically reviewed by: Gary H. Hoffman, MD

Medicine is both a science and an art. Choosing the best practitioner to treat any health concern you face can greatly affect your outcome. This is especially true when the concern is hemorrhoids, and you need a quick and effective solution to the nagging discomfort.

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Many people take this type of complaint to their general practitioner, but if your hemorrhoids require anything more complicated than minor medical treatment, you will want to consult with a specialist. A hemorrhoid specialist can often offer better treatments, based on the latest research and advances in the field. Because they are accustomed to dealing with topics patients may find uncomfortable, a specialist can provide compassionate medical and surgical treatment that meets your needs.

Consider these steps to find the best hemorrhoid specialist in Los Angeles:

Ask Friends and Family for Recommendations

Hemorrhoids are more common than you may realize. Do not be embarrassed to ask family members and close friends for recommendations. Some of them likely follow from the same issue and have a doctor they can recommend. Once you have a short list of specialists, read reviews online. Focus on someone who is qualified to provide the most innovative treatments available, as well as provide compassionate care that helps you relax and feel more comfortable talking about your symptoms.

Look for Board Certification in Colon and Rectal Surgery

The American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery holds certified surgeons to the highest standards. There are very stringent educational, experiential, and testing requirements they must meet, in addition to passing the written Qualifying examination and the oral Certifying examination from the American Board of Surgery.

A board-certified specialist will have at least four years of medical school in addition to at least five years of extensive general surgery training. In addition to all that, they will also undergo an additional year or more of supervised colon and rectal specialty training in an accredited fellowship program under the supervision of a certified specialist. This translates into a much higher level of operative and treatment experience than a general practitioner.

Seek an Experienced Specialist

While you want a specialist who works with the most cutting-edge treatments, you also want someone who has the experience to know what will work based on the details of your specific case. According to the American Board of Surgery, this is not a general practitioner. General practitioners may only see a few cases a year, and general surgeons may only see a few hemorrhoidectomies, fistulotomies, and other similar procedures each year. Without regularly handling these conditions, the rate of misdiagnosis or improper treatment is much higher.

This again highlights the benefits of choosing a specialist, and one who has extensive colorectal surgical experience such as that required to obtain board certification. This experience improves the outcome every step of the way, from routine screenings, to prescribing the right medical treatments, to performing surgery when necessary.

Talk About Their Most Commonly Performed Procedures

If in-office treatments and medications do not cure your hemorrhoids within a couple of weeks, some doctors may want to jump directly into discussing invasive surgical procedures to remove the offending tissue. While a hemorrhoidectomy is occasionally necessary, there are other options that are better suited to most cases.

Since hemorrhoidectomies are only absolutely necessary in very specific cases, you want to find someone who performs more minimally invasive procedures. Consider those who first opt for alternative hemorrhoidal operations such as the procedure for prolapse and hemorrhoids (PPH) or laser hemorrhoidectomies. These alternatives lead to quicker recovery and reduced pain after hemorrhoid surgery, without substantially raising the risk of recurrence.

A Good Hemorrhoid Specialist Helps You Recover Faster

If you do need advanced medical treatment or surgery, a hemorrhoid specialist has the expertise and experience with these procedures that a general practitioner probably does not. Having a specialist on your side may be able to help you avoid surgery. Hemorrhoid specialists can often offer less invasive surgical options. By finding a good hemorrhoid specialist, you may get relief quicker and even save yourself weeks of painful recovery.

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