Center for Digestive Diseases

UNM Hospitals Center
for Digestive Diseases

1001 Martin Luther King Ave. NE
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106

(505)272-2530 or

UNMH: (505)272-6839
CDD: (505)925-7849


What are hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are enlarged or inflamed veins in the lower rectum and anus.  Internal hemorrhoids occur in the rectum and external hemorrhoids occur around the anus.

What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids frequently cause bleeding, anal pain, itching or the sensation of a nodule or bump.  Internal hemorrhoids often cause rectal bleeding that is usually described as bright red blood on the toilet paper.  Sometimes internal hemorrhoids cause prolapse of hemorrhoid tissue that is described as a nodule or bump in the anus.  External hemorrhoids usually cause itching and pain during defecation.

What causes hemorrhoids?

Straining during bowel movements, constipation, diarrhea or firm stools may cause swelling, irritation and inflammation of the anal and rectal veins, resulting in hemorrhoids.  

How are hemorrhoids diagnosed?

A careful history and examination is the first step to diagnose hemorrhoids. External hemorrhoids can be visualized during rectal examination. Internal hemorrhoids can sometimes be felt during digital rectal examination. Examination of the anus with a thin clear plastic tube, termed “anoscopy” can allow your doctor to visualize internal hemorrhoids.  Your doctor may recommend colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy to better visualize your rectum and determine if you have internal hemorrhoids

What is the treatment for hemorrhoids?

Diets high in fiber or regular intake of fiber supplements may decrease hemorrhoid size and irritation.  Hemorrhoid banding can also decrease the size of internal hemorrhoids and thereby decrease associated bleeding.  Hemorrhoid banding is a procedure in which your doctor will use a thin flexible tube with a light and camera to suction hemorrhoid tissue into a plastic cap and then apply a rubber band at the base of the suctioned tissue.  Topical creams applied to the anus may decrease anal itching and pain.  Sitz baths can also provide relief of anal itching and pain.

Dedicated Specialist in this area:

Dr. Trent Taylor (Director)