Benign Conditions of the Anus and Rectum

The Mount Sinai Health System in New York City is fully equipped to treat diseases of the anus and rectum.

Hemorrhoids are painful, swollen veins in the lower portion of the rectum or anus. In most cases, hemorrhoids can be treated with topical medications or sometimes with painless office procedures.

Hemorrhoids often can be diagnosed simply by examining the rectal area. If necessary, other tests will be performed, such as:

  • Sigmoidoscopy – an internal examination of the colon and rectum, using an instrument called a sigmoidoscope.
  • Anscopy – using an anoscope, an instrument with a light on the end, your doctor will get a better view of the anus, anal canal and lower rectum.

Over-the-counter corticosteroid creams can reduce pain and swelling. Hemorrhoid creams with lidocaine can reduce pain. Witch hazel (applied with cotton swabs) can reduce itching. At home, you can also take a Sitz bath, when you sit in a shallow bath of warm water for 10 to 15 minutes.

To avoid discomfort, wear cotton undergarments, use toilet paper free of dyes and scents, and do your best not to scratch the area.


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Tel: 800-MD-SINAI (800-637-4624)

Out of nearly 5,000 hospitals evaluated, Mount Sinai ranks #9 in the nation for Digestive Disease in the 2013-2014 "Best Hospitals" issue of U.S. News & World Report.    Learn More