TREATMENTS FOR HAEMORRHOIDS
The most appropriate treatment option is usually determined by the severity and anatomy of the haemorrhoids. This is something that your surgeon will advise you on.
Irrespective of the treatment offered, adopting a bowel friendly diet, which results in the passage of soft, formed stools without the need to strain, is advised.
You can often relieve the mild pain, swelling and inflammation of haemorrhoids with home treatments. Often these are the only treatments needed.
Eat high-fibre foods and drink plenty of fluid to avoid passing hard stools and needing to strain.
Use over-the-counter topical treatments that contain local anaesthetic.
Soak regularly in a warm bath.
Keep the anal area clean and dry.
Don't use dry toilet paper rather use moist towelettes.
Apply ice packs or cold compresses to relieve swelling.
You can use Paracetamol temporarily to help relieve your discomfort.
With these treatments, haemorrhoid symptoms often go away within a week.
SURGICAL TREATMENT FOR HAEMORRHOIDS
RUBBER BAND LIGATION
An effective, simple treatment for Grade I and II haemorrhoids, which can be performed in clinic, or at the same time as an investigation of the lower bowel, such as colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy. A special device, inserted into the anal canal, delivers a small, tight rubber band onto the base of the haemorrhoid. Often, there is the need for more than one procedure to completely resolve a patient's condition.
TRANSANAL HAEMORRHOIDAL DEARTERIALISATION (THD)
Performed under a general anaesthetic, a doppler probe is used to identify the site of the haemorrhoidal arteries within the anal canal, allowing the surgeon to accurately place a stitch to “tie-off” them off. Further stitches are then placed to pull the haemorrhoidal tissue back up inside the anal canal.
In most cases, patients resume normal activities within 24 – 48 hours. Some patients may feel a slight discomfort in the rectal area and an urge to defecate which usually disappears within a few days.
Published results are encouraging for this technique, and it has the perceived advantages over haemorrhoidectomy of being less painful and not involving the removal of tissue.
For more information please visit https://www.thdlab.co.uk
The Rafaelo Procedure is a relatively new treatment that uses radio frequency technology to reduce or eliminate the common symptoms of haemorrhoids (Grade I-III). It is a minimally invasive day case procedure, which typically takes no longer than 15 minutes to perform. It can be carried out using only local anaesthetic, plus or minus a mild sedative. Most patients report very little pain or discomfort.
The Rafaelo Procedure is a novel treatment, which means that there is limited published evidence about how well it works, its long-term effects, or how safe it is for treating haemorrhoids; however, it has been approved by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
For more information please visit https://rafaelo.co.uk
eXroid involves a gentle current (Electotherapy) applied to the base of each haemorrhoid for up to ten minutes. During treatment the piles shrink, and if not completely gone they can continue to shrink for a week or more following treatment.
The majority of eXroid patients say that this straightforward procedure incurs minimal or no discomfort. Sedation and anaesthetic are not required. There may be the need for more than one procedure to completely resolve a patient's condition.
For more information please visit https://www.exroid.com
This technique is still considered the ‘gold standard’ by which most other surgical haemorrhoidectomy techniques are compared.
Performed under general anaesthetic, the haemorrhoids are excised and the wounds left open to heal naturally over the next few weeks.
A haemorrhoidectomy is thought to provide the most durable results; however, it is known as quite a painful procedure. Much effort has been spent in trying to make the operation more comfortable and it can now be undertaken as a day case in most instances.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
Specific complications of a haemorrhoidectomy can include:
- Pain that can last for a number of weeks, although it usually eases off during that time
- Constipation for a few days after the operation – this can usually be treated through dietary measures and laxatives
- An infection of the operation site or the urinary tract
- Scar tissue causing the anus to become tighter (stenosis).
- Bleeding, either immediately after the operation, or that starts a week or more after the operation.
The chance of complications depends on the exact type of operation you are having and other factors such as your general health. Your surgeon will explain how any risks apply to you.