Shahla Rah, MD, FACG

Gastroenterologist located in Newport Beach, CA & Irvine, CA

Although not usually a serious problem, hemorrhoids are common and are often very painful. While you may find their location embarrassing, hemorrhoids are treatable. Experienced board-certified gastroenterologist Shahla Rah, MD, FACG, with offices in Newport Beach and Irvine, California, can develop a treatment plan to help you manage your hemorrhoids and remove them if needed. For an evaluation, contact the office closest to you by phone or request an appointment with the online booking tool.

Hemorrhoids Q & A

What are hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids refer to swollen veins that develop in the anal canal. The swelling can occur in the veins inside your anal canal (referred to as internal hemorrhoids) or near the opening of your anus (referred to as external hemorrhoids). You can also have both internal and external hemorrhoids at the same time. 

Hemorrhoids are very common and occur in 1 out of every 20 people in the United States. 

What causes hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids develop when there’s too much pressure placed on the veins by the muscles in your pelvic or rectal area. The pressure may develop if you strain during a bowel movement or you spend too much time sitting on the toilet. Pregnant women are also at risk of developing hemorrhoids due to the pressure placed on the veins by the weight of the baby.

Diarrhea can also place additional strain on your muscles and lead to the swollen veins. 

What are hemorrhoid symptoms?

Your hemorrhoid symptoms may vary depending on whether your hemorrhoids are internal or external. Both types of hemorrhoids may cause:

  • Rectal bleeding
  • Rectal pain
  • Itching

Additionally, external hemorrhoids can become thrombosed, which means they develop a blood clot. A thrombosed hemorrhoid can be very painful. The external hemorrhoids may also increase your risk of developing anal skin tags. 

How are hemorrhoids treated?

Treatment for hemorrhoids may depend on the location of your swollen veins and your symptoms. Dr. Rah may suggest at-home treatments for external hemorrhoids, such as increasing your fiber intake, drinking more water, and using over-the-counter hemorrhoid ointments and Sitz baths  to reduce inflammation. 

Dr. Rah also offers in-office hemorrhoid removal with hemorrhoid surgery, including:

Rubber band ligation

The rubber band ligation is used to treat internal hemorrhoids. During the pain-free hemorrhoid removal procedure, Dr. Rah places a rubber band around your hemorrhoid to cut off the blood supply. Within a few days , the hemorrhoid shrivels up and falls off. This technique requires three ligations, at 2 weeks intervals. No anesthesia or preparation required, also this procedure has no downtime, and done right in the office. 

IRC: Infrared Coagulation of hemorrhoids:

Infrared coagulation (IRC) is a non-surgical outpatient procedure for the treatment of hemorrhoids. A small probe is used to painlessly deliver a few short bursts of infrared light to the hemorrhoid. The infrared coagulation causes the enlarged hemorrhoidal tissue to shrink and recede. 


For larger hemorrhoids, Dr. Rah may need to surgically remove them. This procedure is conducted under anesthesia to keep it pain-free. 

Once your hemorrhoids have resolved, Dr. Rah recommends you follow a healthy diet rich in high-fiber foods and plenty of water to reduce straining during bowel movements. 

For expert management of your hemorrhoids from an experienced gastroenterologist, call Shahla Rah, MD, FACG, to schedule an appointment or click the online booking button today.