Commonly referred to as piles, haemorrhoids are soft lumps of flesh inside your rectum. They tend not to cause any pain or discomfort, but can sometimes feel itchy or bleed when you pass a stool. If they become enlarged, they pass through the rectum and you may feel a lump – this is known as a prolapsed haemorrhoid. Haemorrhoids can be hereditary or can appear gradually over time, and are often connected with pregnancy or constipation.
A number of basic measures can be taken to treat haemorrhoids, such as increasing the amount of fibre in your diet and drinking more water. However, if these do not resolve the problem, then our specialist consultants may suggest the following treatments:
Injection & Banding Procedures
An examination of the rectum and lower bowel will be conducted, using a small telescope.
- Injection – The surgeon will inject a substance called phenol into the area near the haemorrhoid. This should block the blood supply and cause it to decrease in size.
- Banding – Using a telescopic device, the surgeon can position a silicon band onto the lining of the anal canal, blocking the blood vessels which supply the haemorrhoid. With this shut off, it should shrink.
The THD procedure is a novel therapy for the treatment of haemorrhoids. It is minimally invasive and in many cases results in minimal to no discomfort after surgery. This is because it uses a special doppler probe to detect the vessels supplying the pile and causing the engorgement, prolapse and bleeding. A specially designed instrument than allows obliteration of the vessels without any cutting or removing of the pile. There has been a great deal of work suggesting it is very effective in resolving the symptoms of piles in the long term. The procedure takes 15 minutes, with patients going home a few hours after surgery. Most patients are pain free and return to work within 2-3 days.
Surgery takes place under general anaesthetic and usually takes around 20 minutes. Your surgeon will cut away the haemorrhoids or remove them with a staple gun.
In most cases, you’ll be able to go back home on the day of the procedure and can return to work the next day. If your treatment was carried out using a staple technique then this does not leave an open wound and you should expect to recover quickly. If you do have an open wound then it may be several weeks before this heals completely.
Drink lots of fluids to avoid constipation and ensure that your diet contains plenty of fibre. Regular exercise can also help with recovery but do check with your consultant before you start. While you should find that symptoms disappear completely, do be aware that haemorrhoids can reappear.