Haemorrhoids are swellings in the anus that are a result of swelling of the network of veins in your anal area. At The London Clinic, we treat haemorrhoids according to their severity. In mild cases, topical medications and an improved diet can help to alleviate symptoms. In more severe cases, we can perform surgery to physically remove the haemorrhoids and repair any damaged tissue.

What are the main treatment options for haemorrhoids?

Treatment for haemorrhoids depends on your specific circumstances. If, for example, you are pregnant, they should settle after you have given birth, so you will probably not need any treatment other than symptom control.

If you are constipated and need to strain, changing your diet and regularly using a laxative can help a lot. In most cases, your doctor will also advise lifestyle changes to prevent haemorrhoids in future. These include eating more fibre, fruit and vegetables in order to prevent constipation, as well as getting into the habit of going to the toilet as soon as possible when you feel the urge.
If the condition is more severe or is recurring, you may eventually need surgery.

Non-surgical treatments for haemorrhoids

If your haemorrhoids are not severe, your doctor may advise the following non-surgical treatments:

  • Medication: while they will not make haemorrhoids go away, creams and suppositories can help to relieve symptoms such as pain or itching. Some haemorrhoid creams contain steroids, which help to reduce swelling as well as relieve symptoms, but you should not use these continuously for more than a week.
  • Banding: if your haemorrhoids are more severe, your doctor may recommend banding where a surgeon places a band in the rectum above the haemorrhoid to cut off its blood supply. The entrapped tissue dies and shrinks in a few days. The area heals, eventually becoming scar tissue, tending to pull any remaining haemorrhoid back into the anus.
  • Sclerotherapy: in this procedure, your doctor injects a chemical into the rectum above the haemorrhoid, blocking off the blood vessels and causing the tissue to die. As with banding, the tissue shrivels up and the remaining area heals over to form scar tissue.

Surgical treatment for haemorrhoids

If you have severe haemorrhoids, there are various surgical treatments that your doctor may recommend:

  • Conventional haemorrhoidectomy involves the haemorrhoids being surgically removed under general anaesthetic. Pain around the anus is common for a few days after the procedure.
  • Stapled haemorrhoidopexy or stapling involves your surgeon stapling your haemorrhoids to the wall of the anal canal, reducing their blood supply and makes them smaller. Compared with a conventional haemorrhoidectomy, this procedure has a shorter recovery time and less post-sugery anal pain but there is a bigger chance that the haemorrhoids may recur later.
  • Haemorrhoidal artery ligation also known as HALO (Haemorrhoidal Artery Ligation Operation) or THD (Transanal Haemorrhoidal Dearterialisation). It involves putting you under a general anaesthetic and uses ultrasound to identify arteries (blood vessels) supplying blood to a haemorrhoid. Stitches or sutures are sewn in to cut off this blood supply and shrink the haemorrhoids. Patients are usually back at work within 24–48 hours.

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