Embolization of hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are one of the most common diseases of the digestive system. About 50% of people have hemorrhoids at least once in their lifetime.

Hemorrhoids are swollen, but normally present blood vessels in both the anus and the lower part of the rectum, which are dilated under pressure, similar to varicose veins in the legs. Although not all hemorrhoids cause significant symptoms, it is sometimes possible for recurrent bleeding to occur, which may be regular and more abundant and require therapy and active treatment. There are various surgical and minimally invasive surgical methods for the treatment of bleeding hemorrhoids, all of which are based on a transrectal procedure with the removal or ligation of the hemorrhoids.

Embolization of hemorrhoids is the newest and least invasive method of treating this disease, which is performed through a blood vessel completely without the need for anal access.

This method is based on the fact that the arteries that supply hemorrhoids and which are ligated during surgical access, do not have to be accessed exclusively transrectally, but access is also possible through a blood vessel, most often in the groin.

With this minimally invasive procedure with a small puncture of a blood vessel in the groin, the rectal arteries are targeted through the abdominal arteries, which are plugged from the inside with small coils in order to limit the blood flow to the hemorrhoids and stop the bleeding.

The advantage of this procedure over surgical techniques is the absence of injury to the anal tissue, a more comfortable procedure for the patient due to access through a blood vessel without entering through the anus, and a lower risk of complications and less postoperative pain.

How is hemorrhoid embolization performed?

The patient is lying on his back. The operation is performed only by applying a local anesthetic under the skin at the site of the puncture of the groin blood vessel. After entering the blood vessel, the patient does not feel pain during the procedure. A thin catheter is led to the desired artery that supplies the pile of hemorrhoids and the flow is blocked with embolization material. The procedure is performed through a single approach, and all shown arteries for the rectum are embolized. As a rule, the intervention lasts about 60-90 minutes. The intervention ends by pressing the injection site with the hands.

Are patient complaints expected during and after the intervention?

As a rule, the only complaint that occurs in the patient is a possible slight pain in the pelvic floor for a few days after the procedure. A slightly elevated body temperature occurs very rarely. The return to regular life activities is 24 to 48 hours after the embolization.

What is expected as a result of the intervention?

After the embolization procedure, significant improvement can be expected in 70-80% of cases in the form of cessation of symptoms and bleeding of hemorrhoids to a significant extent.

Rarely, after some time, an additional embolization procedure is required in case of return of bleeding.

How to prepare?

It is mandatory to come to the intervention procedure on an empty stomach, smoking is prohibited before the intervention (minimum 6 hours) and the groin must be shaved.

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