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Complications of haemorrhoids

In most cases haemorrhoids are mild and do not cause any serious problems to develop.

Haemorrhoids are not associated with an increased risk of bowel cancer.

Sometimes complications can develop as a result of haemorrhoid surgery. These can include:

  • excessive bleeding
  • infection
  • faecal incontinence, where you lose voluntary control over your bowel movements – this is is rare, and can sometimes be corrected with another operation
  • anal fistula, which is a small channel that develops between the inside of the anus and the surface of the skin near the anus.  

Before undergoing surgery it’s important to discuss the potential risks and benefits with your surgeon.

Sources: Colorectal Surgical Society of Australia and New Zealand (Haemorrhoids. Modern management), NHS Choices (UK) (Piles (haemorrhoids), Piles (haemorrhoids) - Surgery)

Last reviewed: July 2015

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Haemorrhoids

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