By Dr. Sharad Daga, General Surgery
Piles, or haemorrhoids, are veins inside the rectum that get inflamed and cause obstruction during a bowel movement. They may manifest in the form of blood along with bowel movement that does not cause any discomfort. However, if they deteriorate over time due to negligence, they can cause severe pain in some cases, and refuse to heal.
While hydrating your body by drinking a lot of water is a requisite during treatment, the haemorrhoids sometimes become too complicated to treat non-surgically or by natural remedies. This is when surgical intervention is needed to cure the condition and relieve the patient from its painful symptoms.
• Banding - This procedure does not require an anaesthetic. In it, the base of the haemorrhoids is tightly tied or ligated together so that they do not have fresh, healthy blood flowing to them anymore. This makes them shrivel up and return to normal. However, if you are on blood thinning medication, you should not resort to this process as it increases risks of heavy bleeding.
• Sclerotherapy - This is a safer option compared to banding, as the bleeding risks are minimized. Also, this process tends to have very good results for smaller haemorrhoids. In this process, certain chemicals are injected into haemorrhoids so that they decrease in size and gradually return to normal. This process is best done under the guidance of a doctor, and not by yourself at home. There is little to no pain accompanying the process.
• Coagulation therapy - This procedure may be done only by itself or be accompanied by an anoscopy, which is an imaging technology of the inside of your rectal region. Your doctor can derive this image from the camera-equipped surgical devices they are inserted through your anus. There is generally very minimal pain in this procedure, and it does not require anaesthesia. In coagulation therapy, very intense heat, light or cold is applied to the haemorrhoids to bring them back to normal size. This type of surgery is also best performed by a professional surgeon in a clinic.
• Haemorrhoidectomy - This type of surgery requires anaesthesia, as it is more major and is performed for more complicated haemorrhoids than those above. The anaesthesia may be general (the whole body is rendered senseless, the patient sleeps), regional (sensation is absent from below the hip region) or local (the anus and rectal region lose feeling). After the anaesthesia dose, surgery is performed to isolate and remove the haemorrhoids by cutting them out of the body. After that, the patient is constantly monitored for some time before being discharged, to see if they are exhibiting normal functioning of all vital signs.
• Haemorrhoidopexy - This is an anaesthetic procedure that fixes prolapsed haemorrhoids. This means that the haemorrhoids have appeared in abnormal swellings around the anus after they pass through the rectum. This surgery is less complicated than a haemorrhoidectomy and can be finished in a single day.
Piles or haemorrhoids are a disease of the human anal region that can be cured properly with the help of surgery. The surgeries to be performed are of several kinds, some requiring anaesthesia and some not, some that have painful recovery and some that can be managed with minimum recuperative care. Depending on the intensity of your condition, you can choose one for yourself, to be carried out strictly with medical supervision.