Health Team

Procedure cuts pain, speeds recovery for hemorrhoid sufferers

Posted April 27, 2011 4:31 p.m. EDT
Updated May 3, 2011 7:15 p.m. EDT

— Protruding blood vessels from the anus, or hemorrhoids, can cause incredible discomfort for those who suffer from them, and standard procedures to treat them are often painful with long recovery times.

But a new surgical option offered by a Cary doctor not only relieves hemorrhoid pain, it cures the problem.

Six blood vessels supply blood to the anus; when blood gets trapped, a hemorrhoid forms.

"Think about your hemorrhoid as a balloon, a water balloon," said Dr. David Zeiler, a surgeon at Triangle Surgical Associates in Cary. "The faucet is filling the balloon up and that's why you get hemorrhoids."

A new procedure, called THD, inserts a special instrument into the artery that feeds the hemorrhoid and uses sutures to tie a knot in it.

"What the THD procedure does is identify where the faucet is and turns it off," Zeiler said.

A few additional stitches will actually pull the hemorrhoid back inside the anus, eliminating the discomfort, he said.

Zeiler said patients can return to normal activity after only four days, much sooner than is possible after surgery or a stapling procedure called PPH. These had previously been the only options available to hemorrhoid sufferers who needed surgery.

Mild cases of hemorrhoids can often be treated with steroidal creams.