Mild haemorrhoidal symptoms sometimes respond to over the counter,
non-prescription ointments and suppositories. Although they will not remove the
haemorrhoid, they can relieve the discomfort. Relief from uncomfortable
haemorrhoids may also be obtained by sitting in warm water for a few minutes
(Sitz bath). When external haemorrhoids are very swollen and uncomfortable, the
application of a cold compress such as ice wrapped in a towel can be helpful.
Rubber Band Ligation works well for internal haemorrhoids which prolapse with
bowel movements (grade II haemorrhoids). A small band is placed around the
haemorrhoid cutting off the blood supply and causing scarring which holds the
haemorrhoid inside. The bands normally fall off within a few days. This
procedure may cause some discomfort and may need to be repeated for full effect.
Injection sclerotherapy can be used to treat small, bleeding haemorrhoids which
do not protrude. It is relatively painless and causes the haemorrhoid to shrivel
up. The procedure may need to be repeated for full effect.
Haemorrhoidal artery ligation operation or HALO is a technique that involves
identifying the blood vessels feeding the haemorrhoid using ultrasound and
suturing them off. Further sutures are used to repair the prolapsing element of
the haemorrhoids. HALO is suitable for most prolapsing haemorrhoids or those
that bleed. Most cases are carried out under a short general anaesthetic.
Patients can go home the same day, as the procedure is relatively painless and
return to work early following the procedure.
Haemorrhoidectomy is a surgical procedure which involves cutting off the
haemorrhoidal tissue. This is a very effective treatment for large haemorrhoids
which prolapse and are associated with significant external tags. This operation
requires a general anaesthetic and may be associated with pain for a few days
Stapled haemorrhoidectomy is a technique that involves using a special stapling
device which cuts out a ring of haemorrhoidal tissue. It is most useful in
dealing with extensive prolapsing haemorrhoids. This requires a general
anaesthetic and is more painful than banding.