Hemorrhoidal disease (“piles”) represents a very common situation, which affects a large part of the world’s population. It has been estimated that approximately 5-10% of people in modern societies will suffer from hemorrhoids at some point during their life.
Hemorrhoids are enlarged, bulging veins in and around the lower end of the large bowel. The main contributing factors to hemorrhoids are chronic constipation, excessive straining while having the motions, and sitting in the toilet for a long time period. Bleeding is the most common symptom of hemorrhoids. Excessive straining may lead to the formation of clots within hemorrhoids, which in turn causes intense pain.
Several techniques have been applied for the surgical treatment of hemorrhoids. The traditional method, known as “hemorrhoidectomy”, is associated with considerable postoperative pain. This has led to the quest of alternative, less invasive techniques, such as the recently introduced technique of laser hemorrhoidoplasty (LHP).
Laser therapy is an innovative approach for the treatment of hemorrhoids, which involves the delivery of a high-energy light within the hemorrhoidal tissue leading to the resolution of the hemorrhoids. During the procedure, a thin probe is inserted into the hemorrhoids releasing an intense amount of heat. The laser beam cauterizes and seals off the blood vessels within the hemorrhoids. As a result, hemorrhoids shrink. The whole procedure lasts from 20 t0 30 minutes.
Laser therapy offers several advantages over traditional surgery. Since laser hemorrhoidoplasty is a precise procedure, it does not affect the surrounding tissues as well as the anal sphincters. Preservation of the anal sphincters means that there are no chances of incontinence fecal leak postoperatively. Moreover, the application of heat reduces the risk of excessive bleeding during and after the procedure.
Laser therapy can be accomplished as a day-care procedure. As a rule, surgery is done under local or spinal anesthesia. There is no need for general anesthesia exempt for are occasions. Recovery is rapid as there are no cuts or stitches and patient may return back to daily routine within hours after surgery.
Postoperative pain is minimal and can be easily managed by taking paracetamol for 1-3 days. Patients experience quick relief from their symptoms (i.e. bleeding, irritation, itchiness and
swelling or discomfort around the anus) soon after the operation. So far, several studies have confirmed that laser treatment of hemorrhoids leads to high success and least recurrence rates.
In conclusion, laser hemorrhoidoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that allows patients to achieve the best possible outcomes with minimal discomfort, rapid recovery and high success rate.