Dr. Shawn Khodadadian, a best in class board certified gastroenterologist in NYC (GI doctor), is a specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions of the gastrointestinal tract (the digestive tract from the mouth through anus, including the stomach and bowel), liver, pancreas and gall bladder. Dr. Khodadadian is... more
The most effective approach at treating inflamed hemorrhoidal tissue is surgical removal, but it’s also the most aggressive approach. In the past, people suffering from severe pain and discomfort caused by this condition had only one option for treatment. It was a surgical procedure that involved cutting out the tissue, cauterizing the bleeding vessels, and sticking the tissues back together.
Today, advances in technology have brought us laser hemorrhoid treatment. This treatment method is just as effective as traditional surgery and has a number of additional benefits as well. However, not all patients are candidates for laser procedures.
How Does Laser Hemorrhoid Surgery Work?
Laser hemorrhoid surgery is performed using precise lasers to do the tasks that would normally be done by hand with a cauterizing tool, scalpel, and other instruments. It works by using a concentrated beam of light which cuts through the bad tissue and removes it without damaging the surrounding tissue. The laser also cauterizes blood vessels at the same time, sealing them off.
This method of treatment is much more accurate and quicker compared to traditional surgery. Laser hemorrhoid surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis, but for certain patients with specific health complications, staying overnight at the hospital might be required.
Which Surgery Method is Better?
Whenever the laser procedure can be used to remove the inflamed hemorrhoids, it’s always better to go with that over traditional surgery. That’s because it offers numerous advantages over other procedures.
Both laser and traditional hemorrhoid surgery are considered hemorrhoidectomies. This means both of them remove the hemorrhoid, reducing the chance of future recurrence. Both are performed in an operating room at a surgical center, clinic, or hospital. Both methods will require the use of anesthetics, either a spinal epidural, general anesthesia, or a local anesthetic, based on your individual situation.
Traditional hemorrhoidectomy surgery has been the treatment of choice for decades, and almost all rectal and colon surgeons perform this procedure. A place performing laser hemorrhoid treatment is a little harder to find. It’s a much newer technique, and the equipment for it is quite expensive. So not all surgeons are willing to make the investment just yet.
Just as with any other surgical procedure, there is some risk of complications. However, laser hemorrhoid surgery minimizes the damage done to the healthy tissue around the inflamed vein. This leads to a great reduction in the risk of tissue death infection along with other common complications. There is also a reduction of excessive bleeding during or after the procedure since the laser seals the blood vessels as it cuts them.
Recovery Period After Hemorrhoid Removal
Both laser and traditional hemorrhoid removal methods are performed on an outpatient basis, which means you can return home a couple hours after the surgery. After traditional surgery, sensitivity and pain may remain for a couple of weeks, taking a month or more to be back to 100 percent. Part of that is due to the fact that it requires stitches in very sensitive skin.
Patients who go for the laser surgery are able to bounce back much faster. Including over-the-counter pain medications, warm sitz baths, a high-fiber diet, and plenty of fluids can result in a recovery period of just a week or two.