Haemorrhoid Procedures

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Haemorrhoids (piles) sometimes clear up by themselves, particularly if you make some positive lifestyle changes, such as altering your diet and upping your fluid intake to avoid constipation.

While the majority of haemorrhoids can be treated without surgery, if they fail to respond to treatment or if they are not suitable for non-surgical treatment, a range of surgical procedures may be offered. Here are some of the options, both non-surgical and surgical, for successfully treating haemorrhoids.

  • Altering your diet can help you to avoid constipation, which is one of the primary causes of haemorrhoids. Increase the amount of fibre in your diet by eating more fresh fruit and vegetables, wholemeal bread and cereal
  • Drinking more fluid and avoiding caffeine ensures you stay hydrated, which helps to keep your stool soft and easy to pass
  • Don’t put off going to the toilet when you feel the urge as this can cause your stools to become dry and hard
  • Avoid straining when you go to the toilet and clean your anus after going to the toilet using moist toilet paper or baby wipes.
  • Over the counter creams, ointments and suppositories can help to relieve pain and swelling
  • You should only use them for five to seven days at a time and do not use more than one product at once
  • Corticosteroid creams can help to calm severe inflammation. They contain steroids so should not be used for more than a week as they can thin the skin
  • Painkillers such as paracetamol can be effective but ibuprofen can make rectal bleeding worse in some cases so is best avoided. Codeine should also be avoided as it can cause constipation
  • Laxatives may be prescribed by your GP to help you to pass stools more easily.

Haemorrhoidal banding and injections (sclerotherapy) may be suitable for haemorrhoids in the upper part of your anal canal.

  • Banding involves placing a very tight elastic band around the base of the haemorrhoid to cut off its blood supply. This is normally carried out without anaesthetic as a day procedure. You may experience some discomfort for a day or so, which can be soothed with painkillers. The haemorrhoid should fall off within a week or so, normally when you pass stools. You may notice some blood on the toilet paper. If there is a lot of blood or clotting, seek emergency medical treatment. Sometimes ulcers can form at the site of the banding although these normally heal by themselves
  • Injections of a chemical solution can be made directly into the blood vessels of the anus. This numbs the nerve endings and hardens the tissue of the haemorrhoid. Over four to six weeks, it will shrivel up. Minor plain and bleeding is commonplace after treatment. However, you should be able to resume your normal activities the day afterwards.
  • Haemorrhoidectomy – is an operation carried out under general anaesthetic to remove haemorrhoids. You may need to take painkillers for several weeks after surgery. You will also need to adopt a high-fibre diet to reduce the risk of the haemorrhoids returning
  • Haemorrhoidal artery ligation (HALO) is carried out under general anaesthetic. An ultrasound probe is inserted into our anus and high frequency sound waves emitted to identify the blood vessels supplying the haemorrhoid. Each blood vessel is then stitched closed to block the blood supply, causing the haemorrhoid to shrink. The procedure can also be used for haemorrhoids that hang down from your anus. It is effective and pain levels are lower than with other forms of surgery. You may experience some bleeding but this normally settles down after a couple of weeks.

As with all types of surgery, there is a small risk of infection after haemorrhoid surgery. Other possible risks include:

  • Minor bleeding
  • Superficial wound infection
  • Residual skin tags after surgery
  • Scarring of the anal canal.

What are the symptoms of Haemorrhoids?

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