While they may not be frequently discussed, internal hemorrhoids are a commonly diagnosed – and a rather painful – issue. Approximately 50 percent of adults suffer with symptomatic hemorrhoids. Over time, hemorrhoids can enlarge and become inflamed, causing bleeding swelling and pain. For patients whose hemorrhoids interfere with their daily lives, Memorial Medical Center-Livingston surgeon Frank S. Walker Jr., M.D. offers a new surgical treatment that is less traumatic and less invasive.
Internal hemorrhoids become an issue when the veins in the rectum lining are damaged by hardened stool and straining from constipation. Bloody stool, drainage or blood in the underwear and discomfort are the main symptoms of irritated hemorrhoids.
The Transanal Hemorrhoidal Dearterialization, or THD, procedure is a two-step process using a small ultrasound device in the rectum. First, Dr. Walker identifies the arteries near the affected area and then shuts off the blood flow in segments. Next, he brings the redundant tissue back into the rectum where it then naturally atrophies and turns into scar tissue.
Historically, the damaged tissue would be destroyed by burning, cutting or stapling.
“The very fact that tissue is being destroyed by a laser or staples means that part of the body is going to take longer to heal and a longer period of pain, bleeding and irritation. That’s not the case with the THD procedure,” Dr. Walker said.
The average recovery time for traditional surgery is two to three weeks, but with the THD, recovery time is as little as two to four days. Dr. Walker reminds patients there will be postoperative pain, however, the length of discomfort is significantly reduced with the new procedure.
Patients undergo general anesthetic during the procedure. Patients 40 years or older will be required to undergo a colonoscopy prior to the THD procedure.
THD is an FDA-approved procedure. For more information, contact your insurance company before calling Dr. Walker at 329-8200.