Before we dive into the various types of hemorrhoid surgery it is worth noting that surgery is often going to be the very last resort. The vast majority of people will find that their hemorrhoids will clear up on their own with the most minor of treatments. Only those who find that their hemorrhoids are not clearing up or keep coming back will be recommended for surgery. As you are going to discover on this page, there are a variety of different hemorrhoid surgeries out there. Your doctor will determine which the best one is for your own particular situation. Let’s take a little look at the various types of surgery available, shall we?
A hemorrhoidectomy is a common treatment but due to the nature of the surgery it is often used only as a last resort. You will need a hospital trip for this treatment and you will be put under anesthetic whilst you are there. This will be a general anesthetic so you will be asleep for the whole procedure.
A hemorrhoidectomy involves the anus being opened up. The hemorrhoids will then be cut out. Whilst you will not experience any pain during the procedure (you will be asleep after all), there is going to be a small amount of pain for a few weeks after the surgery. Your doctor will be able to prescribe you with some painkillers that you can take during this time. It is absolutely vital that you stick to the instructions on the packet with these painkillers in order to avoid an overdose. You will need to take at least a week off work to recover. You will barely be able to move for a few days after the surgery has been completed.
Now; in most cases the hemorrhoids are never going to return if you undergo a hemorrhoidectomy. There is a small chance that they will however. Doctors estimate that the risk of them returning is roughly 1 in 20. This means that the risk is fairly low. It is believed that you will greatly reduce the chances of the hemorrhoids returning by eating a high-fiber diet after the surgery. This will reduce the amount of pressure being placed upon the anus when you pass a stool. This is because the fiber will soften up the stools considerably. There are plenty of guides out there for adopting a high-fiber diet so you really should have no issues in this regard. Read more about hemorrhoid diet.
Stapling is another surgical procedure which will take place under general anesthetic. This procedure is often used as an alternative to a hemorrhoidectomy, although they both have pretty much the same outcome. It is likely that stapling as a treatment method will be suggested if your hemorrhoids have prolapsed (i.e. they are external hemorrhoids). It is however worth noting that this procedure is barely used in comparison to some of the other hemorrhoid surgery methods on this list. This is simply down to the fact that stapling of hemorrhoids can lead to some rather serious complications, and the risk of the hemorrhoids returning is fairly high. We will discuss that in a bit more depth later on though.
During the procedure the doctors will staple a part of your large intestine known as the anorectum. This is the last part of the intestines. By stapling the anorectum it is less likely that the hemorrhoids will prolapse again. At the same time it will also greatly reduce the amount of blood that is flowing into the hemorrhoids. This will cause them to shrink over time and eventually the hemorrhoids will barely pose any issue.
One of the main reasons as to why stapling was used in the past was down to the fact that it boasted a far shorter recovery time than a hemorrhoidectomy. Whilst it is likely that you will still be out of work for a week when you undergo a hemorrhoid stapling procedure, it is unlikely that you will end up in pain for weeks at a time. In fact; most people will be able to deal with the pain of a hemorrhoidectomy with over the counter painkillers, although your doctor will of course wish to try and prescribe you something slightly stronger in order to keep that pain at bay. Most people will never need to use the stronger medication however.
Sadly; stapling is one of the least successful procedures out there. It is likely that in the future the hemorrhoids will prolapse again. This is why many people opt for one of the other treatments on this list.
As I mentioned previously, there are also a few complications related to stapling. For example; in women it could lead to a condition known as ‘fistula’. This means that a small channel is created between the anal canal and the vagina. In some people it could even lead to perforation of the rectum (i.e. a hole in the rectum) which can lead to even more problems. For these reasons it is likely that your doctor will only recommend that you undergo this form of hemorrhoid surgery if none of the other treatments are likely to work. Even then they may still wish that you look into other methods before opting for stapling as there is a fairly good chance that your hemorrhoids are going to cause you the same problems again in the future.
Hemorrhoidal Artery Ligation
Hemorrhoidal Artery Ligation is perhaps one of the most ‘successful’ treatments on this list with the vast majority of people able to achieve 100% curing from their hemorrhoids.
This treatment again involves general anesthetic. The procedure is going to be a lot less invasive though. During this procedure the doctor will insert a probe known as the Doppler Ultrasound probe into your anus. The job of this probe will be to emit small sound waves. These sound waves will enable the doctor to identify which blood vessels are causing you problems in your anal cavity.
Once the blood vessels that are causing the issues have been identified the doctor will stich them up. This will then block the amount of blood that is flowing into the hemorrhoid. As a result; the hemorrhoids will shrink drastically in size over a couple of days, and you may even notice a complete cure in just a few weeks. The stitches are often used to reduce the size of prolapsed hemorrhoids.
One of the main reasons as to why this treatment is recommended is due to its high success rate. The majority of people who opt for this hemorrhoid surgical method are happy with the procedure. It also has a quick recovery rate. The low amount of invasion means that the majority of people should be able to get back to work in a couple of days as opposed to a couple of weeks. There is barely any pain associated with the procedure too. The only downside is that there is a small risk of bleeding when you pass a stool. For the most part however this symptom should clear itself up in a couple of weeks. There are no serious side effects to Hemorrhoidal artery ligation.
Banding is a treatment which will be offered on an out-patient basis. This means that you are not going to need to stay in hospital overnight in order to heal from the surgery. You will not be put under general anesthetic during this procedure although you will have local anesthetic to numb the anal area.
This treatment will involve a small light and camera (on the end of a very thin tube) being inserted into your anus. The doctor will then use the light and camera to locate the impacted hemorrhoids. A small band will then be tied around the hemorrhoids which will reduce the amount of blood flowing into them and this will reduce their size drastically over the coming weeks and days.
For the most part this is a fairly easy procedure and there is very unlikely to be any severe complications. Some people have noticed colon perforation however, although this is very rare. There may be a small amount of bleeding after the procedure but this should clear up pretty quickly. Your doctor will be able to prescribe you with painkillers to help you deal with the minimal amount of pain.
Injections – Scierotherapy
This treatment is often an alternative to banding. This surgical procedure will involve a solution of chemicals being injected into the blood vessels. This will essentially numb the nerve and stop pain for you. In addition to this the chemical solution will also number the tissue of the hemorrhoid. After about six weeks the hemorrhoid will shrivel or decrease in size.
Most people will experience barely any pain from the sclerotherapy procedure. You are advised to rest for just a day. You can then get back to work the day after the procedure. There are barely any complications associated with this particular procedure.