Hemorrhoids are masses or lumps formed due to swollen blood vessels inside or outside the rectum. In severe stages, they may become infected or protrude from the anus (prolapsed hemorrhoid) and require surgical removal. The procedure used to treat or remove hemorrhoids is termed hemorrhoidectomy.
Hemorrhoidectomy is performed under general, regional or local anesthetic depending on the procedure. The different types are:
- Closed hemorrhoidectomy: This procedure is used for the removal of internal hemorrhoids. Your doctor uses scissors, scalpels, electrocautery or laser to excise the hemorrhoids and seal the wound with absorbable sutures. It may be associated with complications such as wound infection, bleeding, fecal incontinence (bowel leakage) and anal strictures (narrowing of the anal passage).
- Open hemorrhoidectomy: This procedure is similar to closed hemorrhoidectomy, except that the wound is not closed but instead, it is left open. This is done if wound closure is difficult due to the location of the hemorrhoid and if the risk of infection is high.
- Stapled hemorrhoidectomy: This procedure is used for prolapsed hemorrhoids. Your surgeon uses a circular stapling device to cut off the excessive hemorrhoid tissue and lift the hemorrhoid within the rectum. This stops blood supply to the hemorrhoids so that they shrink and dissolve.
- Rubber band ligation: A rubber band is tied around the base of the hemorrhoid to cut off blood supply so they disappear in a few days. This may be performed in your doctor’s office without the need for anesthesia.