How Does The Procedure Work?
A small catheter is placed into the radial artery in front of the wrist which is then navigated through the body and into the superior rectal artery which supplies the haemorrhoids. The procedure is performed under image guidance using specialised X-ray machines and contrast dye. A road map of the arteries allows the interventional radiologist to access the appropriate arteries and block them using specialised microcoils which form a small ‘nest’ in the artery blocking off blood flow to the haemorrhoids which causes them to shrink.
A small wrist band with a balloon is applied to your wrist to stop the bleeding which is then taken off in the ward
How Long Does The Procedure Take?
The procedure takes approximately 40minutes depending on how difficult it is to access the arteries which sometimes come off at tricky angles.
What Anaesthetic Is Used During The Procedure?
The procedures performed under a ‘deep sedation’ which essentially means a deep sleep. This involves medication given into the drip as opposed to general anaesthetic which is when a tube is inserted into the throat. It is therefore safer and associated with less complications.
What Happens After The Procedure?
You are taken to the ward for the sedative medication to wear off.
The small band that was applied to your wrist is deflated every 15minutes and then removed. A small plaster is applied to the tiny pinhole through which the doctor worked. There are no stitches of cuts.
Once you are awake and comfortable you can go home.
Do I Need To Stay Over Night?
No. Most patients can go home the same day unless your bleeding was very severe before the procedure and your doctors wants to keep you for a little longer.
What Are the Benefits of Embolization Vs. Normal Surgery?
Mostly pain free
No embarrassing surgery
No surgical wounds or local care is required
No risk of anal incontinence
Less complications than open surgery
Quicker recovery and return to work
Are There Any Risks?
As with any procedure there can be risks involved. This procedure is however significantly safer than the traditional surgical options. Because the procedure is performed through the artery there is a small risk of bleeding but this can be easily controlled if it occurs. There is also a very small risk of migration of the coils into other arteries. The interventional radiologists are however very experienced to deal with these minor challenges if they occur.