DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Haemorrhoids, more commonly known as piles, are swollen veins in the lining of the anus. They may occur in the anal canal or externally, as seen here, at the anal opening where they are called prolapsing haemorrhoids. Haemorrhoids are caused by increased pressure in the veins of the anus due to difficulty in passing hard faeces. They are also very common during pregnancy due to the pressure of the enlarged uterus and immediately after childbirth. Symptoms include rectal bleeding, discomfort and pain during defaecation. Prolapsing haemorrhoids are usually removed surgically under general or epidural anaesthesia.
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