History of Hemorrhoids – Momentous Medical Events

Throughout history man has been searching hemorrhoid cures and piles treatment!

The earliest known mention of this affliction transpired in Babylon round about ~2250 BC which described the symptoms of hemorrhoids in the Code of King Hammurabi.

Interestingly, the first recorded incidence of hemorrhoids occurred in Egypt in 1700 BC.  Written on papyrus treatment emphasized a topical wound ointment of great protection.

And remarkably, the use of the word "haemorrhoids" in English was in 1398, principally as a derivative from Old French termed "emorroides", taken from Latin derivative "hæmorrhoida-ae", which in turn was taken from the Greek "αἱμορροΐς" or translated haimorrhois.

Event Timeline

  • ~2250 BC; Babylon Code of King Hammurabi described the symptoms of hemorrhoids
  • 1700 BC; Egyptian papyrus pronounced a topical astringent lotion.
  • 1552 BC; Egyptian medical record detailed remedies for hemorrhoids.
  • 1046 BC; Old Testament, 1 Samuel 5:9 Philistines punished with “emerods”, and in 1 Samuel 5:12 People who moved the Ark to Ekron were punished with “emerods”.
  • 460–375 BC; Hippocratic Treatises described hemorrhoid treatment by cautery and excision, and first recorded use of speculum to inspect the rectum (endoscopy).
  • 25 BC–AD 50; Celsus describes Pile ligation.
  • 41–68; Roman physician Dioscorides defined Aloe Vera use for easing hemorrhoids.
  • 130–200; Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius’s physician Galen pronounced hemorrhoids treatment ointment containing laxatives and leeches.  He also explained thread use to tie off piles causing them to shrivel up.
  • 4th–5th Century; Indian Susruta Samhita text defined clamp and cautery use.
  • 5th–10th Century; Arab physician El-Zahrawy defined cautery irons use, whilst Byzantine physicians ligated with thread on the hemorrhoid base, before amputating.
  • 1307–1370; John of Ardene’s exposition transcribed hemorrhoids and fistula treatment, and enemas use.
  • 1806; Modern era of endoscopy was piloted by Bozzini with his aluminum tube to expose the genitourinary tract.
  • 1835; St.Marks Hospital London was founded by Frederick Salmon providing modern hemorrhoids and fistula treatment.
  • 1849; Introduction of anal dilation for hemorrhoids treatment.
  • 1935; St.Marks Hospital further developed excision and ligation methods at the hands of ETC Milligan and C Naughton Morgan – nowadays defined as the gold inhemorrhoidectomy standard.
  • 1952; Modification to the Milligan-Morgan procedure introduced by Ferguson.
  • 1955; A.G. Parks’ developed his closed method surgical treatment the hemorrhoidectomy.
  • 1963; J Barron developed an out-patient rubber band procedure to tie hemorrhoids.
  • 1970; Development of cryotheraphy, diathermy, infrared coagulation and laser cauteries.
  • 1975; PH Lord developed his anal dilation hemorrhoid treatment method, whilst WHF Thompson postulated that hemorrhoids developed from anal cushions that are part of the normal anatomical structures.
  • 1997; Italian A Longo introduced his stapled hemorrhoidectomy procedure for prolapsed hemorrhoids.

Outlook for Sufferers

Determining how common and prevalent hemorrhoids are is difficult as countless sufferers don’t seek any healthcare treatment.

Nonetheless, it’s understood that symptomatic hemorrhoids affects about 50% of our US population for both sexes especially sufferers aged 45 – 65 years amounting to about ~5% populace at any given time.

Rehabilitation is generally good even though some sufferers may have recurrent occurrences and only a small proportion end up requiring surgery.