Hemorrhoids Specialist

Maria Palafox, MD

Breast Cancer Surgeon & General Surgeon located in San Antonio, TX

While it’s not exactly a popular topic of conversation, approximately three out of four adults develop hemorrhoids at some point in their lives. Hemorrhoids can cause anything from annoying itching to considerable pain, which is where Dr. Maria Palafox can help. At her practice, Maria Palafox, MD, in San Antonio, Dr. Palafox has extensive experience in treating hemorrhoids, with an eye toward freeing you of their disruptive symptoms. To learn more, call or book an appointment online.

Hemorrhoids Q & A

What are hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids, which are also known as piles, are swollen veins in your anus or lower rectum.

They can be internal, located inside your rectum, or external, developing around your anus. In less common cases, external hemorrhoids may form a clot, leading to a thrombosed hemorrhoid, which can be very painful.

What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids?

Numerous symptoms indicate hemorrhoids, including:

Bleeding during bowel movements

  • Pain, ranging from mild to moderate
  • Swelling around your anus
  • Lumps around your anus

While these are the symptoms that drive you to seek treatment with Dr. Palafox, often hemorrhoids go unnoticed.

What causes hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins, which can be caused by:

  • Straining during bowel movements
  • Chronic diarrhea or constipation
  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Sitting on the toilet for long periods

Age often plays a role in the development of hemorrhoids because as you age, the tissues in this region weaken. 

How are hemorrhoids treated?

Dr. Palafox turns to different treatments, which largely depend on the severity of your symptoms.

For milder cases, she may recommend topical ointments and diet suggestions to help your bowel movements. If there’s swelling, Dr. Palafox typically suggests icing the area and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications.

For moderate cases, Dr. Palafox may opt to remove your hemorrhoids using any one of the following techniques, including:

Rubber band ligation

Dr. Palafox encircles the hemorrhoid at the base with a rubber band, cutting off the circulation. Within a week, the hemorrhoid shrivels and falls off.


Dr. Palafox injects a solution into the hemorrhoid to shrink it.


Dr. Palafox targets internal hemorrhoids with laser heat or light, which causes them to coagulate, harden, and wither.

Hemorrhoid removal

If you have a severe case of hemorrhoids or thrombosed hemorrhoids, Dr. Palafox is a highly trained general surgeon who performs hemorrhoidectomies regularly.

During the procedure, Dr. Palafox surgically removes the excessive tissue that’s causing the bleeding and pain. She can do this procedure on an outpatient basis, but if your hemorrhoids call for more extensive work, you may stay in the hospital overnight.

If your hemorrhoids are a source of discomfort or bleeding, call Maria Palafox, MD, or book an appointment online.