Hemorrhoid Laser Surgery 101 - A Guide to Hemorrhoid Laser Surgery
Posted on 18 December 2017 by Maryanne Johnson
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In this post we will find out if hemorrhoid laser surgery really works. Is hemorrhoid laser surgery safe or a scam?
We are going to go into detail so you can make an informed decision about hemorrhoid laser surgery!
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins that occur in the lower part of your rectum and anus. When they become irritated, they can bulge and cause bleeding, itching, and discomfort.
The anal canal is 2 inches in length and is the area from the rectum to the opening of the anus. This canal is lined with anal pads. These are cushions of skin filled with veins and arteries.
When the veins become swollen, hemorrhoids emerge. Some hemorrhoids may show no signs or symptoms at all, while others can be extremely painful and uncomfortable.
Hemorrhoid treatment varies from person to person, but technology has allowed doctors to improve the treatment methods available for patients who suffer from hemorrhoids.
While some hemorrhoids clear up on their own, others may require medical treatment. From hemorrhoid creams and baths to procedures and surgery, your treatment depends on your individual condition.
Laser treatment is one option that helps with serious or persistent hemorrhoids.
Here’s all you need to know about hemorrhoid laser surgery.
Laser Treatment for Hemorrhoids Surgery
The treatment of hemorrhoids varies, and your option depends primarily on the severity and symptoms of your hemorrhoids.
For symptomatic, recurrent hemorrhoids many people are referred to a hemorrhoid doctor or surgeon.
Laser treatment has become a popular option for the treatment of hemorrhoids.
In comparison to a traditional hemorrhoidectomy, laser treatment can be preferred due to its faster recovery time and reduce the amount of postoperative pain.
How Does Laser Hemorrhoid Surgery Work?
Laser hemorrhoid surgery is a minimally invasive way to treat serious hemorrhoids with less pain and a shorter recovery time.
As medical lasers began to emerge on the scene, doctors turned to lasers to treat hemorrhoids.
The medical laser works by creating a beam through strong electrical currents that pass through a sealed tube containing several gases. Carbon dioxide is the most common.
The electrical current excited the CO2 until it produces a narrow beam of light. Red light is added to the beam, so the surgeon can see it.
The laser beam then passes through a series of mirrors to a hand-piece used by the surgeon to treat the hemorrhoids.
Medical lasers used for hemorrhoids work through two different settings.
The first setting uses a narrow beam to cut the hemorrhoid. In this setting, the beam divides the tissues of the hemorrhoid, penetrating only a small fraction of the tissue.
This is much gentler then surgical incision and does not damage the underlying structures.
As the beam cuts, it also seals and coagulates. The second setting is the vaporizing setting.
This setting works by vaporizing the hemorrhoid, so only a small, dry scar is left behind. Using medical lasers, hemorrhoids can be completed cured without extensive tissue damage.
What to Expect After Laser Hemorrhoid Surgery
After a laser hemorrhoidectomy, patients can expect to wake up easily and quickly without any pain. The local anesthesia that is injected into the anal area is long-acting, preventing the presence of pain for quite some time.
Most patients can leave shortly after they wake, with the assistance of someone to drive them. If necessary, pain medications are prescribed. It is recommended that patients take warm baths to soothe discomfort.
Adding Epsom salts to the bath can increase the water’s ability to soothe the discomfort.
Most doctors suggest patients use stool softeners until the area becomes less tender. The first bowel movement after laser hemorrhoid surgery can be painful.
Proper hygiene is extremely important to reduce the risk of infection and help the healing process.
Ask your doctor about sending you home with a squirt bottle to clean the anal area after a bowel movement.
Healing time for laser hemorrhoid surgery is fast. Most patients are back to normal and can return to work in three to five days.
A follow-up appointment is only needed if a patient has questions. In rare occasions, patients report hemorrhoids coming back, but this is not a common occurrence.
The complications associated with laser hemorrhoid surgery are light bleeding or urinary retention, but these are rare as well.
Most patients respond very well to this treatment, can return to work quickly, and do not have a further occurrence of hemorrhoids.
Try out one of these top-rated hemorrhoid products before or after laser hemorrhoid surgery.
During laser treatment for hemorrhoid surgery, a disposable proctoscope is inserted into the anal canal.
Laser shots are then delivered to the hemorrhoid with a pulsing method that works to reduce the tissue.
The amount of shrinkage of the hemorrhoids depends on the power and duration of the laser beam. As a surgical treatment option, laser treatment is effective.
The Laser Hemorrhoidectomy
Laser hemorrhoid surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure. Patients are still given anesthesia to reduce the risk of feeling pain or discomfort.
Even patients with complicated risk factors can be safely treated through laser surgery. After the patient is put under IV sedation, they anal area is injected with a local anesthetic.
This greatly reduces any pain that may be present when you wake up.
Large hemorrhoids are removed by setting the laser to cutting mode. Stitches are hardly ever used because the setting seals as it cuts.
Once large hemorrhoids are lasered, smaller hemorrhoids are vaporized using the vaporizing setting. One of the advantages of using laser hemorrhoid surgery is that the surgery is performed with the patient lying on their back.
During a regular hemorrhoidectomy, patients must be placed on their stomachs, limiting their breathing ability.
The Benefits of Laser Hemorrhoid Surgery
More and more doctors are turning to the use of medical lasers to treat hemorrhoids. The advantages of laser hemorrhoidectomy to surgical incision include:
- More effective treatment
- Less tissue damage
- Less pain
- Faster recovery time
- Ability to remove more hemorrhoids with one treatment
- Fewer complications
Hemorrhoid Treatment Overview
There are many methods of treatment available for hemorrhoids. These include:
- Non-interventional such as lifestyle changes, improved hygiene, natural methods, and over-the-counter medications and creams. These are generally effective treatment for minor hemorrhoids.
- Minimally invasive treatments are used when at-home remedies aren’t effective. These are treatments performed by a doctor but are not performed under anesthesia. They can usually be don’t at a medical facility or doctor’s office and are quite common. Banding is the most popular. It is commonly used to treat internal hemorrhoids by placing a band around the base of the hemorrhoid to cut off the blood supply, causing the hemorrhoid to drop off. Infrared coagulation and sclerotherapy are other popular options.
- Surgical treatments are used for more severe cases of hemorrhoids. These treatments are performed under anesthesia and done in a hospital setting. The hemorrhoidectomy is the most commonly known surgical option to treat hemorrhoids. The method uses a surgical incision to cut out the hemorrhoid. It often requires stitches and can have a significant recovery time.
As new technologies emerged in the medical world, and the presence of hemorrhoids continued to be very common amongst patients, doctors began to look for a more effective way of treating hemorrhoids without an invasive surgery.
Laser Surgery for Hemorrhoids Reviews
Laser surgery for hemorrhoids has grown in popularity since it first became available.
When hemorrhoids are bothersome enough that they need surgical treatment, laser surgery is a better option than a hemorrhoidectomy. A hemorrhoidectomy can be very painful (1).
Many people use it as a one-treatment option to eliminate the recurrence of hemorrhoids and the need to return for multiple treatments for a solution.
Upon review, laser surgery is reported to be more effective, less painful, and have a faster recovery time. In addition, it allows for the removal of more hemorrhoids and decreased tissue damage.
Overall, there are fewer complications to this surgical option. However, please remember that the hemorrhoids may come back.
Best Laser Hemorrhoid Surgery Center
With facilities in Florida, Georgia, Idaho, and Illinois, Hemorrhoid Centers of America is rated as an excellent surgery center for the treatment of hemorrhoids through laser surgery.
When choosing a provider, check their years of experience and reviews from other patients to see how they rank amongst other doctors in your area.
As laser treatment has increased in popularity, there are surgery centers nationwide that can deliver quality treatment through laser hemorrhoid surgery.
Laser Surgery for Internal Hemorrhoids
Laser surgery is an effective treatment method for internal hemorrhoids. Although internal hemorrhoids don’t often have symptoms, unless they begin bleeding, they may require surgical treatment.
Using a proctoscope, doctors will provide laser pulses to the hemorrhoid to reduce them.
The benefit of laser surgery for internal hemorrhoids is that there is less of a recovery time and the treatment is less painful than other surgery options.
Our full bleeding hemorrhoids guide details what you can do when hemorrhoids bleed.
Laser Surgery for External Hemorrhoids
Many people use laser surgery for their external hemorrhoids as well. Be sure to discuss the best treatment options with your doctor. Laser surgery also works for thrombosed hemorrhoids and prolapsed hemorrhoids as well (3).
And remember, if you do not address the causes of your hemorrhoids they may come back after the surgery. Be sure to check out the hemorrhoid causes guide if you are unsure of the cause of your hemorrhoids.
Most Common Hemorrhoid Laser Surgery Side Effects
Side effects from hemorrhoid surgery are rare but can happen.
The most common side effects that occur are pain passing urine and during bowel movements, stool leakage, bleeding, and infection.
Before your surgery, talk to your doctor about the risks associated with hemorrhoid removal procedures.
Contact them immediately if you are concerned about the side effects. If you are interested in learning more about dealing with pain, our guide to hemorrhoid pain may be able to help.
Is Bleeding After Hemorrhoid Laser Surgery Normal?
Some bleeding after hemorrhoid surgery is not uncommon. Blood in the stool or in your undergarments may be noticeable.
While a small amount of blood is normal, significant amounts of blood should be reported immediately to your doctor.
During the initial healing process, passing bowel movements may increase the likelihood of bleeding.
If you experience the passing of blood clots, however, you should report this to your doctor as well.
The Typical Laser Hemorrhoid Surgery Costs
While many hemorrhoid treatments are covered by insurance, some companies do not cover the surgeries.
What is the cost of laser hemorrhoid surgery?
Surgery is the most expensive option for hemorrhoid treatment. Depending on the provider, laser surgery can range anywhere from $9,000 to $12,000.
If you are looking for a cheaper option, be sure to check out one of the following guides.
The Normal Laser Hemorrhoid Surgery Recovery Time
Recovery time varies from patient to patient.
For those who follow doctor’s orders exactly as advised, full recovery time is generally two to three weeks.
In some cases, recovery time can be as long as one to two months.
Should I Get an Enema After Laser Hemorrhoid Surgery?
After laser hemorrhoid surgery, do not give yourself an enema unless directed by your surgeon. If you are having a problem passing a bowel movement, talk to your doctor.
Pain medication can cause constipation and add to your pain. Most patients are advised to take a stool softener to reduce the pain associated with bowel movements after surgery.
Fiber supplements can also be helpful (2). Be sure to keep yourself hydrated and drinking water to help with the digestion process.
If you are still having problems with bowel movements, contact your surgeon or physician for advice.
How Painful is Laser Hemorrhoid Surgery?
Pain is a common complaint after hemorrhoid surgery. During your procedure, your doctor may give local anesthesia.
You will likely go home with a prescription pain medication as well. Because of the high sensitivity of the area, your hemorrhoid pain may linger for a few weeks. It will also come and go as you pass bowel movements.
Laser hemorrhoid surgery is much less painful than a hemorrhoidectomy, and the temporary pain can be the solution you need for an extended period of hemorrhoid pain.
Are There Alternative Treatments to Laser Hemorrhoid Surgery?
Yes, as a matter of fact, there are many different treatments you can try that are much cheaper than laser hemorrhoid surgery.