Hemorrhoids are a common problem that affects 50% of adults over age 50 in the United States. For most people, hemorrhoids resolve without surgery. However, a hemorrhoidectomy may be necessary to provide long-term relief. Known for his skills, confidence, kindness, and honesty, board-certified general and laparoscopic surgeon, James Rifenbery, MD, FACS, at Laparoscopic Surgery NW in Tacoma, Washington, performs hemorrhoidectomy procedures using the most advanced techniques available. For an evaluation, contact the office by phone or request an appointment online today.
Hemorrhoids, also referred to as piles, are swollen veins that develop around your anal canal. Dr. Rifenbery classifies your hemorrhoids based on severity, including:
First-degree hemorrhoids bleed but don’t prolapse (fall) outside the anal canal.
Second-degree hemorrhoids prolapse outside the anal canal, usually during defecation, but retract spontaneously.
Third-degree hemorrhoids require manual placement back inside the anal canal after prolapsing.
Fourth-degree hemorrhoids are prolapsed hemorrhoids that you can’t manually place back inside the anal canal. These hemorrhoids usually strangulate, cutting off blood supply and leading to a thrombosed hemorrhoid, or formation of a blood clot.
Your hemorrhoid symptoms may include pain, bleeding, itching, or mucus discharge.
When it comes to hemorrhoid treatment, nonsurgical methods work for most people. Treatment may include diet modification, topical medication, and soaking in warm water.
Dr. Rifenbery encourages a high-fiber diet to alleviate hemorrhoids. Fiber adds bulk to stool and may help prevent the straining that leads to the development of hemorrhoids. He may also suggest the addition of a fiber supplement to improve bowel movements.
With nonsurgical hemorrhoid treatments, you may not notice an improvement in your symptoms until two months after starting treatment.
A hemorrhoidectomy refers to the surgical removal of your hemorrhoids. You may benefit from a hemorrhoidectomy if your hemorrhoids are severely prolapsed and not improving with at-home care.
Dr. Rifenbery uses two techniques to perform a hemorrhoidectomy, including:
During a traditional hemorrhoidectomy surgery, Dr. Rifenbery uses a retractor to expose the hemorrhoidal tissue and surgically remove it. He then sutures or seals the remaining tissue.
Dr. Rifenbery considers the traditional hemorrhoidectomy very effective, but it can result in post-surgical discomfort and require a lengthy recovery period.
The stapled hemorrhoidopexy, also known as the procedure for prolapse and hemorrhoids (PPH), is a more advanced hemorrhoidectomy technique. During the PPH, Dr. Rifenbery uses a circular stapling device that pulls and removes the prolapsed tissue and staples the remaining hemorrhoidal tissue, which is placed above the sensory nerves to minimize post-surgical discomfort.
Dr. Rifenbery prefers using the more advanced surgical technique to perform hemorrhoidectomies because it causes less post-surgical pain and allows for a faster recovery.
If your hemorrhoids aren’t improving with at-home care, contact Laparoscopic Surgery NW by phone or request an appointment online to explore your options.