What Is Sentinel Pile?

According to the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS), a sentinel pile is an external lump that develops around the rectum as a result of anal fissures. In some cases, they heal on their own and do not require treatment. However, if they are too large or interfere with movement, surgical removal may be recommended.

Sentinel piles are often mistaken for hemorrhoids or warts. However, unlike hemorrhoids, they are typically painless. People with sentinel piles who choose not to have them surgically removed need to pay extra attention to their anal hygiene. This is because the extra skin can sometimes trap moisture that causes irritation. The skin can also become irritated from prolonged sitting or being rubbed, both of which lead to discomfort.

The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons list several treatment options for treating anal fissures and removing sentinel piles. Depending on the nature of the pile, doctors may remove the growth using freezing or burning therapy, while other cases may be treated with direct surgery. Regardless of which excision method is used, recovery is quick and relatively painless. In the days following the procedure, patients are encouraged to avoid straining and drink lots of fluid to soften their stool. Doctors may also prescribe painkillers and laxatives. The National Institute of Health observes that standard home treatments for hemorrhoids are effective in hastening recovery, including eating a diet high in fiber and using a sitz bath to promote blood flow to the anal region.