Digestive + Colon


Hemorrhoid surgery

Any treatment for hemorrhoids should begin with a conversation with a doctor. Either because of the type or severity of the hemorrhoids or because of the failure of other treatments (such as rubber band ligation), roughly 10-20% of patients suffering from hemorrhoids will require surgery. Several procedures exist to treat hemorrhoids, including minimally traumatic and minimally invasive options that usually cause less pain and a faster recovery. 75, 11, 76

How traditional hemorrhoid surgery is performed

There is traditional open hemorrhoid surgery (a hemorrhoidectomy), where the surgeon makes incisions in the tissue around the affected area. Often a device that uses electric current is applied to seal small blood vessels around the area. The surgeon ties off the vein to prevent bleeding and then removes the hemorrhoid.

Traditional hemorrhoid surgery using advanced technology

A traditional surgery can also be performed using advanced instruments, such as HARMONIC® Devices. What makes HARMONIC Technology unique is that it uses high-speed vibration instead of electric current to make incisions. This may result in less damage to the tissue, which is important in the overall recovery after surgery. Unlike traditional instruments (called electrocautery), HARMONIC Devices have been proven to provide benefits, such as:

  • Less postoperative pain.11, 76
  • Fewer painkillers required after the procedure.11, 76
  • Usually faster return to work.11, 76

A minimally invasive approach to hermorrhoid surgery

While other kinds of surgery are effective, minimally invasive procedures usually cause less pain and scarring. One such approach is called Procedure for the Prolapse of Hemorrhoids (PPH). This procedure was first introduced in Italy in 1997 and brought to the U.S. in October 2001. In a PPH, the surgeon uses a special device (circular stapling instrument) to remove a section of tissue inside the anal canal. Because there are few nerve endings in this area, there may significantly less pain in the first week after surgery than there is with conventional techniques.75 This process “lifts up” the tissue and reduces blood flow to the internal hemorrhoids, causing them to shrink within 4-6 weeks.

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