Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anus and lower rectum, similar to varicose veins.Similar to varicose veins, they are well known. It is estimated that nearly ¾ of the adult population has occasional hemorrhoids, but the direct causes have not been fully discovered. The prevalence rate is between 4 and 80% of the population, depending on the gender, ethnicity and age of the patients consulted.
All these data indicate that hemorrhoids are indeed part of the daily life of many people. These can cause anal itching, pain and discomfort when sitting or defecating, swelling in the anal area and even painless bleeding during bowel movements, which can cause more than one scare for the squeamish. Usually these problems can be addressed pharmacologically and with dietary changes, but this is not always the case.
There are several types of hemorrhoids with their particularities in terms of severity and clinical picture and, in the most severe cases, the operation of hemorrhoids or hemorrhoid surgery, hemorrhoid surgery or hemorrhoidectomy is perceived as the only option.. If you want to know everything about this surgical procedure, read on.
What is a hemorrhoid?
As we have previously mentioned hemorrhoids or piles are swollen veins around the anus.. They can be found inside the anus itself (internal) or outside the anus (external) and the symptomatology varies slightly depending on the category consulted. In general, piles do not cause severe problems, but if they bleed a lot, become swollen or make the patient’s daily life difficult, surgical removal may be considered.
According to medical sources, there are 4 types of hemorrhoids according to their severity. We will tell you about them briefly:
- Grade IProtrusion in the anal canal without external prolapse.
- Grade II: prolapse with spontaneous resolution.Prolapse with spontaneous resolution. This means that, literally, the rectum turns inside out and returns to its normal position on its own.
- Grade III : prolapse with manual reduction.prolapse with manual reduction. Physician attention is required to return the external part of the rectum to its place.
- Grade IVContinuous prolapse that recurs after reduction.
As you can imagine, as we move up the scale of severity, surgery becomes more and more plausible.. First-degree hemorrhoids (the vast majority of cases) are generally treated with measures aimed at combating constipation and reducing local symptoms. In these cases, it is advisable to increase fiber and water intake, exercise and avoid prolonged sitting, among other things. With a series of small daily gestures, mild piles can be treated without surgery.
How is a hemorrhoidectomy performed?
The hemorrhoid operation or hemorrhoidectomy is a surgery performed in order to remove hemorrhoids permanently.. The type of clinical approach depends on the severity and location of the swollen vein, but generally the patient will be able to go home the same day of the operation. The anesthesia provided may be general or local, again depending on the area affected and the extent of the procedure.
According to the U.S. Library of Medicine, an operation for hemorrhoid removal may involve several acts. Among them, we find the following:
- Placing a small rubber band around the hemorrhoid in order to shrink it and decrease blood flow to it.
- Stapling the hemorrhoid to the rectal wall. This cuts off blood flow to it, which prevents excessive bleeding during bowel movements.
- Using a scalpel to remove the hemorrhoid in its entirety. Depending on the extent of the cut, stitches may be needed.
- Injecting a chemical into the blood vessel leading to the hemorrhoid to block it.
- Using a laser to burn the hemorrhoid and cauterize it at the same time.
A popular option today is stapled hemorrhoidectomy, also known as hemorrhoidopexy.also known as hemorrhoidopexy. In it, the hemorrhoid is lifted and then stapled back into place in the anal canal. As benefits, this is a less invasive surgery than complete removal, as no incisions are made and no stitches are required, and therefore recovery time is shorter.
Pain is also less in this type of procedure, but the chances of developing hemorrhoids again over time are higher than if you go to the traditional extraction, i.e., cutting with a scalpel. Consult your doctor about all the options available, as each case is different and there is no universal approach.
Recovery takes between 2 and 3 weeksdepending on the magnitude of the operation and the method used. Normally, once the patient wakes up from the general anesthesia, local anesthetics are usually offered, whose action is prolonged for up to 12 hours, so that the patient does not feel pain immediately. However, it is normal to experience some pain and rectal bleeding during the first few days after the surgical procedure.
During the first hours and days, cold compresses applied to the affected area and warm water baths can help reduce local swelling, always following the medical indications provided by the relevant professionals. Stool softeners and specific vitamin supplements (fiber) may also be prescribed, in order to avoid excessive straining during bowel movements and skipping stitches or opening the wound, among other undesirable events. Recovery may require patience and some pain, but it is a safe surgery with minimal risks.
Risks of the procedure
Speaking of risks, we have to notify you of certain certain possible dangers, although these are very rare.. One of the general problems in this type of surgery can be adverse reactions to anesthesia in the operating room, although these are extremely rare and should not even be conceived as a real danger. On the other hand, there is also the risk of profuse rectal bleeding, rectal prolapse, the formation of blood clots and even the production of infections. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics or other drugs if he or she believes any of these events are a possibility in your case.
In the long term and after leaving the operating room, a small percentage of patients may experience slight leakage of stool and discomfort when urinating due to pain in the anal area. In any case, almost all of these clinical signs usually disappear on their own with time, once the wound heals and the swelling goes away. Don’t worry: hemorrhoid surgery carries very few risks compared to the benefits it presents.
Several private clinics report that the success rate of these operations ranges from 95% to 98% of the cases in the first operation performed.. Even so, success is not an absolute confirmation, since it is estimated that 5 out of 100 patients develop hemorrhoids again in the long term after the operation.
Furthermore, surgery is not recommended for internal hemorrhoids, so it is a viable option for those who present only the external variants or a combination of both. Certain considerations may also be necessary before the procedure in pregnant women, alcoholic patients and in those who are receiving previous pharmacological treatments. Every body is different, so we advise you to discuss your particular situation with the relevant professional before embarking on the operation. In all cases, prevention is better than cure.
Surgery is usually the last option for many pathologies, and this case is no exception. Hemorrhoids should be treated with changes in diet, physical exercise, home care and changes in position, among many other events. Only when all these things fail or when the swelling leads to anal prolapse is it conceivable to undergo surgery.
Even so, if this is your case, you have nothing to worry about. Hemorrhoid surgery carries minimal risks, as it is a safe and effective procedure.. Moreover, in most cases it is a permanent and affordable solution for almost any budget.