Centers of Excellence
Endoscopic treatment of hemorrhoids with the ΗeLP/BIOLITEC system
Hemorrhoids are vascular structures at the lower part of the colon and the anus. All people have them, but one in three will suffer from hemorrhoid problems at some point in their life. The most common problem is pain and swelling of the anal and rectal veins.
Cause / Diagnosis
The most common causes of hemorrhoids are:
- Build-up of pressure in the pelvis and rectum area, causing swelling
- Diarrhea and constipation, causing increased pressure in the veins
- Obesity also contributes to the development of hemorrhoids
- Pregnancy after the 6th month or during labor, because of straining
During the diagnosis, the doctor must determine they are in fact hemorrhoids and not fissures or anal fistulas. A simple anal exam is enough for the doctor to reach a conclusion. The doctor examines the interior of the rectum with a special lens to decide so.
Hemorrhoids are classified as internal and external. Together they have the following symptoms:
- Blood in stool
- Pain in the perianal area
They are usually small veins that sit on the walls of the anal canal or protrude (prolapse) outside the anus. Internal hemorrhoids can be quite painful, since they are squeezed by the anal muscles. Patients usually notice the presence of blood or mucus in the stool or on the toilet paper.
When hemorrhoids are external, they become irritated and form clots. In this case, the patient suffers from thrombosed hemorrhoids.
Management and treatment of hemorrhoids
Modern medicine has developed many minimally invasive hemorrhoid treatments, without skin incisions.
To decide on the right approach, the doctor must determine the hemorrhoid stage, as treatments vary.
If the patient is in the first stages, treatment is conservative.
If the condition is serious, treatment is different because the blood flow must be reduced in order to shrink the hemorrhoids. The treating physician then selects the most suitable approach.
Endoscopic treatment of hemorrhoids with ultrasound and laser
Hemorrhoids are one of the most common conditions affecting the population of the western world. It is estimated that approximately 50% of men and women are going to develop hemorrhoids at some point in their life.
Everyone has a collection of submucosal veins in their anus, the hemorrhoidal veins, which may become dilated for a number of reasons and as a result internal or external hemorrhoids are formed. Internal hemorrhoids are usually painless, but quite often they cause bleeding. When hemorrhoids become enlarged and protrude outside the anus they are called prolapsed hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids are classified in 4 grades:
- 1st degree, non-prolapsing. They are treated with proper diet, medications and ligation, while laser treatment is very effective (HeLP System).
- 2nd degree, prolapsing outside the anus and retracting back on their own. They are treated with photocoagulation, ligation and hemorrhoidectomy, while laser treatment is very effective (HeLP System).
- 3rd degree, prolapsing and requiring manual manipulation back into the canal. They are treated with hemorrhoidectomy.
- 4th degree, prolapsing and not possible to be manually manipulated. They are treated with hemorrhoidectomy.
First and second degree hemorrhoids are usually a cause of concern for patients, due to recurrent bleeding despite conservative treatment (natural fibers, abstinence from alcohol/spices, a diet rich in water and natural fibers, sitz baths etc.). The Biolitec HeLP system offers a painless and very effective means of treatment. Following bowel preparation, the hemorrhoidal arteries are located with a special ultrasound probe passing through a small proctoscope, and then laser photocoagulation stops the blood flow in the arteries and the hemorrhoids are withdrawn.
The technique does not require general anesthesia or hospitalization (the patient returns home in a few hours), there is no pain after the procedure (perhaps only a mild burning sensation), the complications are minimum and the success rate is more than 70%.