Hemorrhoids can often be effectively treated with diet, topical; medications and good hygiene but sometimes these home treatments are not enough. Surgery might provide long-term relief for those who do not respond well to non-surgical hemorrhoid treatment. There are a couple types of surgeries for hemorrhoids, the least invasive being hemorrhoid laser surgery.
Hemorrhoids laser surgery, or laser coagulation, works by using an electrical impulse that is applied directly to the hemorrhoid. This triggers a chemical reaction that shuts down the blood supply to the vein. Without a blood supply the hemorrhoid shrinks and eventually disappears.
There are two main benefits associated with selecting hemorrhoid laser surgery. First, it is relatively pain-free and second, this procedure is free of incisions and bleeding. Pain and bleeding might occur with other hemorrhoid surgery procedures and the recovery time will most likely be longer than with laser surgery. Additionally, the risk of damaging surrounding tissues is lower. The downside is that hemorrhoids laser treatment is more expensive than other surgeries for hemorrhoids.
Other minimally invasive options aside from hemorrhoids surgery laser include:
- Rubber band ligation: In this procedure a rubber band is placed at the hemorrhoid’s base to cut the blood supply off and subsequently kill the tissue.
- Sclerotherapy: In this procedure a chemical solution is injected at the blood vessel supplying the hemorrhoid. The chemical solution will then shrink and destroy the hemorrhoid.
When looking at how to get rid of hemorrhoids, minimally invasive hemorrhoid procedures can result in fewer complications and less pain, a hemorrhoidectomy typically provides better long-term results. With a hemorrhoidectomy the doctor will make incisions and cut out the hemorrhoids. This procedure is typically outpatient and patient usually goes home the same day. A person undergoing this procedure might be given a local anesthetic or general anesthesia. With a local anesthetic the patient is awake, but relaxed and the area that is being operated on is numbed. With general anesthesia the patient is asleep during the procedure. The downside of this procedure is that incisions are made in a sensitive area and can require stitches, which will cause additional pain and tenderness.
Procedure for Prolapse and Hemorrhoids (PPH): This procedure is less invasive than a hemorrhoidectomy. With this procedure, a stapler-type device repositions the hemorrhoids and also cuts off its blood supply. The hemorrhoids will eventually shrivel and die without a blood supply. The PPH moves the hemorrhoid to an area where there are not as many nerve endings, which in turn reduce pain. There is less pain, fewer complications, less bleeding and itching and a quicker recovery.
Hemorrhoid surgeries are common and considered safe. However, all surgeries have risks including infection, bleeding and reaction to anesthesia. Additionally, patients might experience trouble urinating following surgery because the pain might make it difficult to relax enough to allow urine to flow. Also, the anal sphincter could be damaged during surgery. That could lead to pain and/or the inability to control your bowels.
Pain, especially during bowel movements, is the biggest complaint after surgery. Over-the-counter pain medication can help ease the pain. Soaking in a warm tub can also help relieve pain and using stool softeners will make bowel movement easier. Hemorrhoidectomy recovery will take about two weeks but can take as long as four to six weeks for a full recovery.
Less invasive home treatments like hemorrhoid cream application, constipation remedies and diet measures are best for treating hemorrhoids but if home treatment methods have failed, talk to your doctor about the best surgical options for you. Keep in mind that health plans vary widely in their coverage so make sure you check with your insurance company first before deciding on any treatment.