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What Is a Prolapsed Hemorrhoid?


Updated June 27, 2011

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

internal hemorrhoids, external hemorrhoid, prolapsed hemorrhoid,

Internal and External Hemorrhoids

© National Institutes of Health
Definition: Prolapsed hemorrhoids are internal hemorrhoids, or swollen blood vessels, that develop in the rectum. These distended vessels are called "prolapsed" when they protrude through the anus.

Most prolapsed hemorrhoids begin as an internal hemorrhoid in the lowest part of the rectum, just inside the anus. The hemorrhoids can then swell and descend through the anus, which is then referred to as a "prolapsed hemorrhoid." The blood vessels may shrink back up into the rectum, but others may become permanently prolapsed, meaning that they remain outside the anus permanently.

For some, prolapsed hemorrhoids can result in bloody stools. If severe, they may require surgery, especially if they are permanently prolapsed. For many hemorrhoid patients, dietary changes and alterations in bathroom habits can be very effective and surgery is not necessary.

Hemorrhoids are very common, with 75% of all people having one or more at some point in their life.

Also Known As: pile
Common Misspellings: Hemoroid, Hemeroid, Hemerroid, Hemorroyd, hemorroid,
After the patient noticed bloody stools, he sought treatment and was diagnosed with a prolapsed hemorrhoid.
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