DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Thrombosed haemorrhoid. Close-up of a thrombosed (clotted) external haemorrhoid obscuring a patient's anus. Haemorrhoids (piles) are swollen veins around the anus. They are common in pregnancy due to the pressure of the foetus on the rectum and can also arise from excessive straining to defecate in sufferers of constipation. Symptoms include pain and bleeding on defecation. Haemorrhoids that hang out of the anus sometimes resolve spontaneously. More persistent cases require surgical removal: the swelling is grasped by an instrument called a proctoscope and a tight elastic band fixed over the stalk. The haemorrhoid then withers and drops off within a few days.
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