What is a hemorrhoidectomy, and do I need one?
A hemorrhoidectomy is a surgical procedure used to remove hemorrhoids. This is typically done in a surgical center with general or regional anesthetic. A hemorrhoidectomy requires the normal measures taken before most surgeries, including fasting, often has an increased level of pain and recovery time, and may result in a short hospital stay.
There are multiple approaches that may be used in a hemorrhoidectomy, but a conventional surgical hemorrhoidectomy will have the surgeon using a device, such as a scalpel or laser, to access the swollen vein within the hemorrhoid. Next, they will clamp the vein to prevent bleeding before removing the affected tissue. The surgeon may stitch the surgical area closed or leave it open, depending on the approach used. Medicated gauze and antibiotic ointment is used to cover the affected area, and the recovery period for this surgery usually lasts two to three weeks.
For 99% of people experiencing hemorrhoids, surgery can be avoided through other treatments.
Are other hemorrhoid treatments as effective as a hemorrhoidectomy?
There are a number of alternative treatments available to treat hemorrhoids, also known as piles. Some treatments, such as topical ointments and creams, or home remedies, like witch hazel or a sitz bath, only mask the symptoms rather than resolving the underlying issue, so generally only provide temporary relief of the hemorrhoid symptoms.
Rubber band ligation, such as the CRH O’Regan System, is a popular alternative to the conventional hemorrhoidectomy, due to the painless nature of the procedure, fast recovery (patients can return to work the same day), a recurrence rate on par with surgery, and complications, such as bleeding or pain, in less than 1% of patients.