Minimally invasive treatment for hemorrhoids
When over-the-counter medications or changes in diet fail to relieve the discomfort caused by hemorrhoids it might be time to consider a more targeted treatment. Several highly effective hemorrhoid treatments are available on an outpatient basis. These treatments can often eliminate or at least postpone the need for surgery.
One of these treatments is called sclerotherapy. This therapy is a well known treatment for unsightly varicose and spider veins on the legs but it is equally effective treating certain types of hemorrhoids.
Los Angeles colorectal surgeon, Dr. Zuri Murrell prescribes sclerotherapy for smaller hemorrhoids located within the rectum, known as grade 1 or grade 2 hemorrhoids. This treatment relieves itching and pain within a week following the treatment. Sclerotherapy allows patients to quickly return to their normal activities free of the limitations caused by a hemorrhoid flare-up.
What is sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy causes hemorrhoids to shrink by injecting a chemical irritant or scelorosant, into the base of the hemorrhoid. This chemical hardens the tissue which restricts the blood supply to the hemorrhoid. The hemorrhoid eventually falls off leaving a smooth scar. This scar tissue is beneficial in preventing a new hemorrhoid and supporting anal tissue which prevents the formation of a new hemorrhoid. Hemorrhoid treatment using this procedure has a very high success rate and it can be done on several hemorrhoids simultaneously.
Can all hemorrhoids be treated with sclerotherapy?
Only smaller hemorrhoids located within the rectum are treated with sclerotherapy. Hemorrhoids are graded by size and whether they have prolapsed, or slipped out of the anus. Grade 1 and 2 hemorrhoids are smaller and have not prolapsed through the anus or if they have, they retract spontaneously. Hemorrhoids that are located outside of the rectum will usually need to be treated through surgery called a hemorrhoidectomy.
Sclerotherapy is used on hemorrhoids that are too small to be treated with another effective outpatient treatment called rubber band ligation which requires the hemorrhoid to be large enough to be physically tied off. Another use for this therapy is in hemorrhoids that bleed or for those who are not able to undergo surgery for medical reasons.
If you have already gone through sclerotherapy and are still experiencing bleeding, Dr. Murrell may suggest a colonoscopy Los Angeles patients frequently are recommended to complete. If you or a loved one over the age of 50 are experiencing such symptoms, it is more likely that Dr. Murrell will recommend a colonoscopy in this case.
How painful is sclerotherapy?
When done correctly, the procedure is virtually painless with very few complications. The injection site itself is located in an area of the rectum that has no pain relaying nerves. Hemorrhoid treatment is part of the daily routine at Dr. Murrell’s Los Angeles clinic. He has performed thousands of hemorrhoid treatments ranging from surgical removal to less invasive procedures such as sclerotherapy. The mild discomfort that may result from treatment is easily treated with over-the-counter pain medication.
Patients who have suffered with the discomfort caused by hemorrhoid symptoms are delighted to have their problem gone after a 5 to 7 day recovery period.
How is sclerotherapy performed?
The procedure is done on an outpatient basis and does not require anesthesia. The injection is done in an area that does not have pain receptors. Although the treatment is relatively simple, the placement of the needle is key to the success of the treatment so only an experienced colorectal surgeon should be trusted with this procedure.
The solution is injected slowly to ensure it is absorbed by the hemorrhoidal tissue. Up to three hemorrhoids can be treated at once. The treatment is done very quickly and since it is done without anesthesia, patients can immediately return home to rest. Sclerotherapy enjoys a 70% success rate; in 7 to 10 days the hemorrhoid detaches from the rectum leaving only a small patch of scar tissue.
Am I a candidate for sclerotherapy?
Simply changing the diet and drinking more water is the first line of hemorrhoid treatment for many people. When that fails to provide relief, more targeted treatment is done. Sclerotherapy is effective on hemorrhoids that are small and are located within the rectum and is an effective treatment for almost everyone. If sclerotherapy is not the right treatment, there are other options.
Dr. Murrell begins his Los Angeles hemorrhoid treatment as conservatively as possible to provide long lasting relief. If drug store medicated pads and creams are no longer helping, visit Dr. Murrell at his Los Angeles office for a full evaluation. His practice is devoted to helping people live without the pain and embarrassment of hemorrhoids.