If you suffer from recurring hemorrhoids or they cause severe pain or bleeding, it may be time to consider more than an over-the-counter option for relief. Several non-invasive treatment options are available to treat hemorrhoids, and many are outpatient procedures that will have you home in the same day.
According to the Mayo Clinic, your doctor may suggest one of three minimally invasive, outpatient hemorrhoid treatments if you have persistent bleeding or painful hemorrhoids.
- Hemorrhoid banding is the most common procedure and is effective for small or medium-sized hemorrhoids. This method involves placing a rubberband around the base of an internal hemorrhoid to cut off its blood supply, causing it to shrivel and eventually fall off.
- An Injection, or sclerotherapy is a procedure in which an injection is made in the base of the hemorrhoid, causing the vein to shrivel and harden. This option may be less effective than hemorrhoid banding, but it does reinforce the anus wall by hardening it, reducing the chance of developing hemorrhoids again.
- Coagulation uses a laser, infrared light or heat to harden hemorrhoids and make them shrivel. More than one application may be necessary before hemorrhoids completely disappear. Coagulation has few side effects, but there is a higher rate of hemorrhoid recurrence with this method than with banding procedures.
If minimally invasive procedures have not been successful or if you suffer from larger hemorrhoids, a doctor may suggest surgery as a last alternative. Some surgeries are outpatient procedures while others require an overnight stay in the hospital.
- A hemorrhoidectomy is usually performed as an outpatient procedure and involves a surgeon completely removing hemorrhoids with the patient under general anesthesia. A hemorrhoidectomy is the most effective way to fully remove hemorrhoids, but it also has the most complications associated with it. Pain can be expected after a hemorrhoidectomy as the anus tightens and relaxes. Recovery usually takes about two weeks.
- Stapling This involves lifting the hemorrhoid and stapling around it to block blood flow to the area. Stapling is not as painful as a hemorrhoidectomy and requires less recovery time, but there is a chance of recurrence even with the procedure.