Treatment for haemorrhoids is different for each patient. We make a personalised decision based on your symptoms and the type of haemorrhoids you have.
The best treatment is prevention and this means that you should try to:
- Avoid straining or spending too long on the loo.
- Treat constipation by increasing the amount of fibre in your diet
- Make sure you drink enough fluid during the day and that you avoid dehydration
- Laxatives are often required to help soften the stool and prevent straining.
Topical creams and suppositories
These should be tailored to the symptom. If haemorrhoids are causing swelling or discomfort, topical preparations containing steroids can be used for a short period of time. For itching, barrier creams can be used on the perianal skin. Or pain and burning preparations containing local anaesthetic are soothing.
Injection of sclerosant via the anal canal into the haemorrhoids causes the blood vessels in the haemorrhoids to become blocked and the scarring reduces the size of the haemorrhoids and the potential for them to bleed. This can be performed in the clinic setting without anaesthetic and repeated as many times as required. It is also sometimes used to treat mucosal prolapse caused by chronic straining.
Rubber band ligation
This is the most effective nonsurgical method for treating haemorrhoids and can be performed either in clinic without sedation or under general anaesthetic in the operating theatre depending on patient/surgeon preference.
The procedure involves the insertion of a lubricated proctoscope to visualise the haemorrhoids and then application of suction and a band to the base of the haemorrhoid. This cuts off the blood supply to the haemorrhoid causing it to shrivel up and fall off. The haemorrhoid(s) are then usually passed in the stool and many patients will not notice this happening. Several bands can be applied at a time and the technique can be repeated as many times as required. The bands cause an initial discomfort often felt as the need to pass stool or something in the rectum that they cannot pass. Bleeding can occur when the bands are applied and when they fall off, which is usually within a week.
The bleeding usually stops on its own. If you are taking anticoagulants (medications to thin the blood) these drugs will need to be stopped for banding to be performed.
Radiofrequency treatment for haemorrhoids (Rafaelo Procedure)
This new treatment for haemorrhoids is usually done under local or general anaesthesia. Its advantage is that it causes less discomfort than removal of the haemorrhoid . A lubricated proctoscope is inserted into the anus to allow good visualisation of the anal canal and to expose the haemorrhoids. Local anaesthetic is injected into the tissue surrounding the haemorrhoid. A specially designed instrument applies radiofrequency energy waves to the hemorrhoidal tissue, which produces heat and shrinkage of the haemorrhoid. The haemorrhoids may be treated in several sessions, each taking up to 20 minutes.
Haemorrhoidal Artery ligation (HALO) or transanal haemorrhoidal dearterialization (THD)
This technique is usually performed under a general anaesthetic using a specialised proctoscope to identify branches of the blood vessels feeding the haemorrhoids and a stitch is used to tie them off. The haemorrhoid is pulled into the bottom and it shrinks. However, if you have tags of skin around the bottom these are not treated with this technique. Like the Rafaelo, this approach is less painful than surgical excision of the haemorrhoids but there is a greater chance the haemorrhoid will return than with traditional surgery.
Open (excisional) Haemorrhoidectomy
This involves excision of the haemorrhoids under general anaesthetic. After excision the wounds on the bottom are left open to prevent infection. It is an uncomfortable procedure but it still has the lowest long term chance of the haemorrhoids coming back. Antibiotics, laxatives, local anaesthetic and creams to reduce spasm in the sphincter muscles after surgery which are all helpful in reducing discomfort.
A circumferential line of staples are placed around the lining of the rectum. The aim is to staple across the blood vessels that supply the haemorrhoids and to any redundant mucosa (the lining of the bowel) inside the anal canal. The procedure is performed under general anaesthetic. Because the staples are placed inside the rectum, no skin is cut and this reduces the pain typically found after traditional surgery.
Banding of haemorrhoids: £295
Injection of haemorrhoids: £295
Surgical treatment of haemorrhoids: £2,495