Performing Minimally Invasive Procedures
Medication and lifestyle changes sometimes provide meaningful relief for patients with hemorrhoids. But for many people with this type of irritation, symptoms simply don't go away with initial non-surgical treatment efforts. Instead, these swollen anal veins progressively worsen or they grow in size and number. If this is the case, a hemorrhoid doctor may discuss minimally invasive procedures with a patient. Should a blood clot form inside of an external hemorrhoid, an external hemorrhoid thrombectomy may be performed. During the procedure, a small cut is made to drain the affected part of the swollen anal vein. Minimally invasive procedures recommended to address problems with hemorrhoids may also include:
- Rubber band ligation: Two rubber bands are placed around the bottom of an internal hemorrhoid to cut off its circulation.
- Sclerotherapy/injection: A specially prepared solution is injected into the enlarged tissues to cause the hemorrhoid to shrink.
- Coagulation: Infrared heat or lasers are used to cause internal hemorrhoids to shrink.
Performing a Hemorrhoidectomy or Stapled Hemorrhoidectomy
If painful hemorrhoids can't be effectively treated with the minimally invasive procedures already discussed, the next option may be surgical removal, referred to as a hemorrhoidectomy. During the procedure, the tissues causing the bleeding and extreme discomfort are removed. After the application of local, general, or spinal anesthesia, small incisions are made around the anus to slice away the affected tissues.
Hemorrhoid surgery is generally considered to be the most effective treatment methods for painful, excessively large, bleeding, or recurring hemorrhoids. Having surgery doesn't automatically mean hemorrhoids won't be a problem again in the future, although the odds of recurrence may be reduced if proper precautions are taken. Following removal surgery, discomfort may continue for 2 to 4 weeks as the surgical site heals.
Hemorrhoid stapling is another surgical option. It's often recommended for patients with third-degree hemorrhoids, which are abnormally enlarged veins that protrude with straining. During the procedure, a circular, hollow tube is placed into the anal canal. A long thread is woven above the internal hemorrhoid. A disposable instrument is used to manipulate the thread and block the flow of blood to the hemorrhoid tissue. The lower and upper edges of abnormal tissues are also cut. Risks associated with hemorrhoid surgery are typically mild. Some patients may develop a temporary urinary tract infection.
In rare cases, untreated hemorrhoids that are regularly bleeding may contribute to anemia, a condition characterized by a lack of healthy red blood cells. Most of the time, however, piles are mainly uncomfortable or painful. A hemorrhoid doctor in Orange County may also suggest ways to minimize recurrence after treatment, such as maintaining a healthy weight, eating more high-fiber foods, and drinking 6-8 glasses of water each day. Getting regular exercise and staying active may also ease pressure on anal veins enough to reduce the odds of developing hemorrhoids.