HAEMORRHOID EMBOLISATION

At present, this haemorrhoid treatment is only funded by Medical Funders in patients suffering from significant bleeding. This procedure is currently a topic of international research. Its long-term efficacy has not yet been established.

The Procedure

‘Embolisation’ essentially involves medical particles or ‘coils’ to block off the blood flow to the area that is being treated.

Because the haemorrhoid is an imbalance between the blood going to the rectum (via the arteries) and the blood going away from the rectum (via the veins), if there is more blood going to the rectum than going away, blood begins to pool in the dilated anal cushions/veins forming a haemorrhoid.

Most treatments currently offered focus on treating the veins directly however the embolisation procedure actually treats the problem from the arterial side by blocking the blood flow flowing into the haemorrhoid tissue instead of surgically removing the damaged anal cushions haemorrhoids. So, in essence, this is a great way of preventing haemorrhoid formation too! By reducing the blood flowing into the haemorrhoid it does not enlarge, bleed or cause pain.

Haemorrhoid embolisation is a newly established way of haemorrhoid treatment without having to commit to more permanent but more painful surgeries.

STEP 1

A small catheter is placed into the radial artery via a tiny pinhole in the wrist and navigated into the small arteries that supply the haemorrhoids. Small ‘microcoils’ are then deployed into these arteries causing blockage of blood flow.

Nester Microcoil (Cook Medical)

The tiny ‘nest’ of platinum alloy that’s placed in the arteries that supply blood flow to the haemorrhoids.

STEP 2

Blockage of blood flow results in the haemorrhoids shrinking over time. Instead of treating the haemorrhoid surgically, embolisation treats the haemorrhoid from its source in a minimally invasive, painless way.

How Long Does the Procedure Take?

The procedure takes approximately 40 minutes depending on how difficult it is to access the arteries which sometimes come off at tricky angles.

What Anaesthetic is Used During the Procedure?

The procedure is performed under ‘deep sedation’ which essentially means a deep sleep. This involves medication given into the drip as opposed to general anaesthetic which is when a tube is inserted into the throat. It is therefore safer and associated with fewer complications.

What Happens After the Haemorrhoid Treatment?

  • You are taken to the ward for the sedative medication to wear off.


  • The small band that was applied to your wrist is deflated every 15 minutes and then removed. A small plaster is applied to the tiny pinhole through which the doctor worked. There are no stitches or cuts!


  • Once you are awake, comfortable and have had some lunch you can go home.

Do I Need to Stay Overnight?

No. Most patients can go home the same day unless your bleeding was very severe before the procedure and your doctor wants to keep you for a little longer.

What Are the Benefits of this Haemorrhoid Treatment Over Traditional Surgery?

  • Non painful


  • More dignified


  • No cutting


  • Very low complication rates


  • No risk of post operative faecal incontinence


  • Works best for bleeding haemorrhoids


  • Quicker recovery and return to work


What Are the Limitations?

  • Very new procedure and there are still questions with regard to effectiveness in treating all symptoms equally.


  • Limited improvement in prolapsed haemorrhoids


  • Has less impact on itch and discomfort.


What Are the Risks?

The procedure is very low risk but of course, any anaesthetic carries a small risk of allergy or reaction. The anesthetic is a deep sedation and therefore is much safer than a full general anesthetic. The procedure is most often done through the wrist which can result in some bruising and injury to the artery this is also very rarely a significant problem.

What Do I Need to Do to Have This Procedure?

  1. See one of our affiliated surgeons to exclude that there is nothing more sinister causing your symptoms.
  2. Complete a history form for our doctors who will contact you.
  3. Have some routine blood tests.
  4. Have a CT scan of the pelvic arteries. This is a specialised microinvasive scan to ‘map out’ and evaluate the arteries in your pelvic area. This test is important to exclude any vessel abnormality that may affect the pathway through the arteries that supply the haemorrhoids. It also allows the doctors to assess the other structures in your pelvic area to make sure there is no other abnormality that may be causing your symptoms.

NO SCALPEL

DAY PROCEDURE

PAIN FREE

MICROINVASIVE