Sclerotherapy for Hemorrhoids Reviews, Cost, Recovery Time & Effectiveness
Posted on 05 April 2018
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Does Sclerotherapy really work for hemorrhoids or is it a scam? In this post we discuss the cost, recovery time, effectiveness, and reviews of Sclerotherapy for hemorrhoids.
What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a newer hemorrhoid treatment that involves injecting a chemical into your hemorrhoid.
The chemical will make the hemorrhoid harden and then eventually fall off. A scar is usually left where the hemorrhoid removed but it also prevents future hemorrhoids from developing in the same area.
One great thing about Sclerotherapy procedure is that it does not involve the patient being placed under general anesthesia.
How Does Sclerotherapy Work?
The first thing your doctor will do is perform a procedure to determine what type of hemorrhoids you have.
The doctor will often use a proctoscope, endoscope, peroscope, or anoscope to diagnose your type of hemorrhoid (3).
There are 2 different types of hemorrhoids, internal hemorrhoids and external hemorrhoids.
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Internal hemorrhoids are located within the anus and typically present with hemorrhoid bleeding.
External hemorrhoids are located outside the anus and are itchy, painful, and irritating (4).
We have a great hemorrhoid pain guide you may be interested in if you are dealing with intense hemorrhoidal pain.
A sclerotherapy procedure can only be performed on Grade 1 and Grade 2 internal hemorrhoids.
If your hemorrhoids are external or have prolapsed internally and do not retract automatically, you will not be a candidate for Sclerotherapy.
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Grade 1: Hemorrhoids stay inside the rectum and cannot be seen or felt. (candidate for Sclerotherapy)
Grade 2: Hemorrhoids fall out or prolapse from the rectum during a bowel movement but automatically retract back into the rectum. (candidate for Sclerotherapy)
Grade 3: With a Grade 3 internal hemorrhoid you will have to manually push the prolapsed hemorrhoid back into the rectum.
Grade 4: These types of hemorrhoids are the worst. The hemorrhoid has prolapsed from your anus and cannot be pushed back in manually.
If your hemorrhoid doctor has diagnosed you with Grade 1 or Grade 2 internal hemorrhoids, you can choose to have Sclerotherapy.
The doctor will lie you down and locate the hemorrhoid. Once the hemorrhoid is located, the doctor will slowly inject the sclerosants (chemicals) into the hemorrhoids.
Here are 3 different common sclerosants injected for hemorrhoids via Sclerotherapy:
An Indian study carried out in Africa showed 50% dextrose water work as a sclerosant (8).
An experienced colorectal surgeon is key for this procedure.
You will not require anesthesia and usually no topical numbing will be provided.
While some people reported little to no pain with Sclerotherapy, others have reported intense pain.
Colorectal surgeons can handle up to three Grade 1 or Grade 2 hemorrhoids at a time. So, if you have multiple hemorrhoids you could still get them treated with Sclerotherapy.
Your doctor will have you take OTC pain medications to handle the pain post-op.
We have a great post discussing the best OTC hemorrhoid medications so take a peek.
Occasionally, you will need to come back for another injection if the original injection did not work.
How Much Does Sclerotherapy Cost for Hemorrhoids?
The price of a Sclerotherapy procedure will run you anywhere from $350 to $700. This depends on how difficult the injection is and also how many injections you will need.
Some people require more than one injection so the price could rise. Your insurance may cover the procedure so make sure you speak with your doctor regarding that.
Coming back for multiple injections will also boost the price.
The Sclerotherapy cost for 1 injection is much lower than most other hemorrhoid procedures or surgery costs.
Sclerotherapy Recovery Time
Most people recover from Sclerotherapy within 5-7 days. Occasionally, you might need 7-10 days to recover.
Since it is not an actual surgery, there is a much smaller recovery period than that of a hemorrhoidectomy.
Your doctor will tell you to take OTC pain medication to get relief. You can also use a hemorrhoid pillow, hemorrhoid wipes, hemorrhoid creams, hemorrhoid supplement, hemorrhoid ice pack, hemorrhoid suppository.
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Drinking lots of fluids and possibly taking a fiber supplement after the procedure can help make sure you avoid constipation.
In many people, hemorrhoids can come back 2-3 years later.
Sclerotherapy Side Effects
- Injection pain
- Hives at the site of injection
- Allergic reactions
- Nerve damage
- Artery injection
- Vein thrombosis
If you experience any of these side effects from a Sclerotherapy procedure, make sure you contact or see a doctor immediately.
A study conducted showed that among three common non-operative procedures, Rubber Band Ligation fared better than Infrared Coagulation or Sclerotherapy (9).
The same study also confirmed that Rubber Band Ligation is more painful than Sclerotherapy (10).
Many people have reported that Sclerotherapy has helped their hemorrhoids. Sclerotherapy is a relatively inexpensive option for Grade 1 or Grade 2 hemorrhoids when compared with a hemorrhoidectomy.
Rubber Band Ligation is comparable in terms of price and effectiveness.
While we would recommend Sclerotherapy to a candidate who qualifies for it, there are many lifestyle changes you can make to become hemorrhoid free.
You may want to try these out before opting for the procedure, especially if you have Grade 1 hemorrhoids.