Just sitting down is cause concerning for people with hemorrhoids. Yet most suffer in silence. Traditional hemorrhoid surgery is often followed by weeks of painful recovery - the reason most patients avoid it. A new stapling procedure now available at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital offers relief from the discomfort of hemorrhoids with less pain and faster recovery.
Procedure for Prolapse and Hemorrhoids or PPH essentially “lifts up” the hemorrhoidal tissue and places it back where it belongs.
General Surgeon Patricia Auty, MD, Seacoast General Surgery, described the benefits of the “virtually painless” procedure. “We use a stapling device to pull up the tissue inside the anal canal and staple it in an area that has very few nerve endings, unlike the opening to the canal which is extremely sensitive,” she said. “The procedure disrupts the blood supply and begins to shrink the hemorrhoids immediately. Some patients may experience a mild discomfort but it is extremely well tolerated and most patients do not have any discomfort. No bowel prep is generally needed and patients recovery much faster than they do from the more traditional surgery.”
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins that at times may extend outside the body, a condition called prolapse. Symptoms may include itching, pain, swelling, cracking and bleeding. Until recently only two methods were used to remove advanced hemorrhoids – surgical removal of the tissue or a hemorrhoidectomy or the use of tiny rubber bands to cut off the blood supply or a rubber band ligation. A third option, PPH offers relief from the pain of hemorrhoids without adding the intense pain of surgery.
The PPH procedure is performed in the operating room under general and local anesthesia. “Most patients go home the same day and are back to work in three to five days,” Dr. Auty said.
More than half the population will develop symptomatic hemorrhoids after age 30. Some occur for no apparent reason. Others are related to: pregnancy due to the strain of carrying the baby and giving birth, being overweight, straining to move bowels, sitting too long on the toilet, standing too much, lifting too much, increased risk with age and increased risk if parents had hemorrhoids.