Haemorrhoids are one of the commonest ailments that afflict mankind. It is difficult to find out the true incidence. Undoubtedly many people suffer from haemorrhoids and many more have some degree of the condition without symptoms. It is common to find haemorrhoids in symptomless patients and Buie (1960) reports an incidence of 52 per cent in a large series of unselected patients examined by proctoscopy at the Mayo Clinic. The incidence increases with age and Goligher (1967) estimates that at least 50 per cent of people over the age of 50 years have SOIJ;le degree of haemorrhoid formation. Levitt (1973) working from the figures for all hospital admissions in Western Australia in 1971, estimated that 7 per cent of the population will require admission for treatment of haemorrhoids at some time during their life.