If piles (hemorrhoids) are not controlled or treated on time they can lead to complications. These may include
- Profuse hemorrhage: This usually occurs in early stage of second degree piles (hemorrhoids). Prolonged bleeding can lead to anemia.
- Strangulation: Sometimes the prolapsed piles (hemorrhoids) become gripped by the external sphincter (external opening of the anus). This leads to further congestion (swelling) because the blood gets collected at the anal opening. This condition is accompanied by severe pain.
- Thrombosis (blood clotting): If the internal piles (hemorrhoids) continue to be strangulated it can cause thrombosis. The affected pile becomes purple or black in color and feels solid. The pain of strangulation passes off but tenderness (pain on pressure) remains.
- Ulceration (open sore): The thrombosed piles (hemorrhoids) if not managed can lead to ulceration of piles (hemorrhoids).
- Gangrene (decomposition of body tissue either by obstructed circulation or infection): If the strangulation is very tight it constricts the blood supply in the affected area resulting in the death of tissue there.
- Fibrosis: After thrombosis the piles (hemorrhoids) may convert into fibrous tissue (scar tissue).
- Suppuration: This occurs because the thrombosed piles (hemorrhoids) may get infected (filled with pus).
- Pylephlebitis (portal pyaemia): Sometimes the gangrene may extend to the inner lining of the anal canal and rectum and can lead to portal pyaemia (infection in liver circulation) and liver abscess (collection of pus in liver).